The critical period hypothesis
Here is a presentation at TED which again stresses how we become less proficient language learners as we get older.
I have seen so many people past their 20s do very well at difficult languages like Chinese and Japanese, that I simply do not buy this. I also know that I am a much better language learner today than when I was in school. The reason is simply that I am more motivated, more experienced and more confident in my language learning.
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