The Relationship between Age and Accuracy of Foreign Language Pronunciation

Linda L. Olson, S. Jay Samuels
1973 The Journal of educational research (Washington, D.C.)  
The purpose of this study is to test the commonly held assumption that younger children are superior to those who are older in learning to speak a second language with a good accent. Students from the elementary, junior high, and college levels are tested after receiving identical instruction in German phonemes. Post-test results indicate that both the junior high and college groups are superior to the elementary age group. There is good evidence that the age-language acquisition relationships
more » ... avoring younger students hold for first languages only. The common observation that children acquire better language pronunciation than adults may have an environmental-socioeconomic explanation and depend on the differences in the way each group is able to acquire the second language. It is more probable that children would have a closer approximation to native-like pronunciation because they are surrounded by good models more of the time than their adult counterparts.
doi:10.1080/00220671.1973.10884476 fatcat:hfr5lmshsze35hykoe4bp4u2zy