Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Saying ‘the’ in German

“Infants have various often-overlooked advantages: cognitive and social plasticity; unembarrassability; nothing to do all day but learn. And adults labor under the opposite cluster of properties.

But adulthood also brings benefits: mature intellectual appreciation of the task; access to sources other than personal interaction.

Adults can learn new languages, especially given a good grounding in practical phonetics. I could learn German. If it weren’t for all the other things I have to do.”

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Languages do matter!


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