Kids are pretty amazing; they absorb languages like talkative sponges while adults would still be struggling to learn English or a foreign language, even with English courses in Singapore. How do they do that? What is their secret? Well, you may be tempted to think that it’s because children are generating more brain cells as they grow. That is true but not the whole truth, in fact, that might be a small part of it.
Children’s Learning Capacity
A human being is born with around 100 billion neuron cells in his/her brain. These brain cells get to increase in your olfactory bulb, prefrontal cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus by age 2; though you only keep making new neurons in your hippocampus – the part of your brain associated with memory and learning. It is possible that this neurogenesis is partly responsible for why kids pick up new things so fast.
Still, the most significant thing about a child’s brain development is not the number of neurons, it is their organisation. A baby is born with very few synapses connecting neurons but by age 2 or 3, they’ll have more than twice as many than they will have as an adult. This period is called ‘exuberant synaptogenesis’. Your brain will actually prune back the number of connections because it just doesn’t need so many once you’re a functioning adult and set in your ways before that.
Your brain as an adult becomes more efficient with different parts of the brain being connected. Children, on the other hand, use neurons that are more clustered together; this is why children are so creative; their brains are experimenting with different configurations before settling on a structure. So, during these early stages, when their brain is so malleable, children tend to absorb everything they learn quickly.
Language is a notable example. When a baby hears the speech, the neurons in relevant parts of its brain form more synapses; the more they hear the speech, the stronger those connections become. That is why kids’ vocabulary quadruples in size between the ages of one and two.
At early ages, kids pick up new languages accent-free. There are multiple neural pathways so their brains don’t get locked into one pronunciation pattern after their first year. That is why they don’t have a problem in learning the new pronunciation of the English Language and speaking it with their own accent. Similarly, when it comes to learning languages, adults learn better than children in a controlled environment.
A scientific research study has proven that adults have the capacity to learn any language skill better than the kids. They do understand grammar, vocabulary, how to read and express complex ideas at a faster rate than young kids. However, children have upper hand in pronunciation skills. They are able to reproduce the same accent as the native people have. Adults lack in that skill. Kids are so good at mimicking sound and accent that everyone considers them as having command at the English Language.
As time passes, this wonderful skill starts reducing its efficiency, making this one of the greatest strength kids have over adults, and that is why we should start teaching them the English language from a very young age. In Singapore, many English language institutes are opened especially for young kids. Be sure to enrol your child in an English course in Singapore as soon as you can, because the benefits for them is long-lasting.