The native language predicted success in learning a foreign

German researchers found that how strongly phonologically, morphologically and lexically — new human language like a native, affect how well he learns. To do this, they analyzed the results of oral examination in the Netherlands, which passed a nearly 50 thousand carriers 62 different languages. Native language, therefore, may impose some significant limits on the success in learning a foreign language, write the scientists in the journal Cognition.

The majority of people learn an additional foreign language in the age of reason and often outside of language environment: for example, in school, University or additional courses. Such training, of course, can be effective (it is obvious that a foreign language can be learned and after the occurrence of the so-called critical period), but still has several limitations. The most obvious is to have some sort of accent, it is apparent phonological differences between the speech of a native speaker and someone who teaches this language as a foreign language.

However, some people learn languages still succeed, and learn to speak without an accent, even without access to the language environment. From what it may depend on decided to check out scientists under the direction of the gob of Sapanca (Job Schepens) from the Free University of Berlin. Their main hypothesis was that phonological, morphological and lexical similarity of the native language speakers will determine how well they will learn new.

To do this, they analyzed data on 48219 media 62 different languages, who passed the exam in Dutch language for admission to University country: the exam consisted of multiple oral and written tasks. To assess selected only the oral part: it is checked (from the point of view of the correctness and fullness of the speech) several independent evaluators — native speakers of Dutch. In addition to the score on a language exam (in the model, the indicator used was from 270 to 685), the researchers tested the impact of other variables: sex of participants, age of arrival in the country, duration of stay in it, as well as their education.

In accordance with the underlying statistical model, the score that the participants received at the oral examination in Dutch, was dependent on their native language. From 9 to 22 percent of the differences in learning effectiveness can be explained only by the native language of the speaker, and taking into account additional factors — from 28 to 69 percent. For example, greater success in learning Dutch sought a native German and Swedish, and the smaller Somali and Thai.

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