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July 20, 2004

Learning and Forgetting

In his latest Practical Linguist column in the Daily Yomiuri, Marshall Childs continues his theme of how children learn - and forget - language. He presents some interesting case studies of Japanese children who have moved between different language environments at different ages. The main ideas he presents are that the idea of one language being able to "kill off" another in young children is a fallacy; that in order to maintain skill in a language a child must not undergo a prolonged period of not using it; and that learning and forgetting happen quickly at an early age but decrease after the age of 7 or so.
Kids learn and forget quickly

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