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Why language fluency depends on starting to learn in childhood

New research into language-learning suggests there is a cut-off point for starting the process if you want to become fully fluent - you should begin before the age of ten. People remain highly skilled learners until their late teens, but find it harder to learn languages as adults. The research was led by Professor Joshua Hartshorne of Boston College in the US. He says at least seven years of intensive learning are needed to achieve language fluency.

Picture: A mother reads a book to her daughter. Credit: Science Picture Library

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4 minutes