Home > Language Learning

Language Learning

Learning a language as a child seems fast and effortless; learning a language as an adult can be a struggle.  Why is there this difference?  What can we do as educators to make it easier for people to learn languages, regardless of their age?

Researchers at Maryland explore both first language acquisition (in infants), and second language acquisition (across the lifespan). They explore the processes that learners go through, what factors predict ultimate attainment, and how acquisition differs across languages.  They are also actively involved in connecting basic science to applied problems; the National Foreign Language Center has expertise in language policy and in expanding nationwide capacity for instruction in diverse languages in K-12 education and adults, while the Center for Advanced Study of Language focuses on methods for reaching high levels of language proficiency in short periods of time.