chapter 2 summary

chapter 2 summary


in this chapter, the author talk about three subheadings :”ghost an unknown language”, “just can’t stop learning”, “the adult advantage”. through the example of michael learning Mandarin, we know about the unconsciousness of the language you lived. in fact, people no way to stop theirself to learning a language, whatever a first language or a second language. then, according to steven pinker ‘s veiw, at least as children, people’s brain can hear the words from any sounds. and the author of the third ear further expand this view, everyone has a nutural ability that to identify the sounds and learn any language if they want to. in the last subheading, the author described the prejudice that the children have a better brain than adults for learning a languge. but according to the studies, under the condition of the equivalent exposure time for adult and children. the result was that adults learn a foreign language faster than children. because adult have “the adult advantage”, adults know many more concept about the world, they have the many skills and tricks that to understand and remember things.


but why is the reality often oppisite. we always look at a case that after the same months, children alway speak a language fluently while adults still struggling with the basic converstation. the experiment seems to be contrary to common sense. actually, the author analyze the reasons deeply. adults alway in a situation with no time to focus, no energy to learn and no exposure to the language. i very much agree with these reasons. then i would combine my experience to illustrate the diffculties of adults and find some good methods.


first point, no time to focus.adults alwasy were busy. some people must hard work to feed themselves, some people would take care of their family, some people need to engage in social activities after the work. after all people always feel the busier you are, the better you are in today society.


then this condition led the second point, no energy to learn. just think about it, you had worked all day, you had have one meeting in the morning, solved some crises for your boss. then what do you want to do after work? you definitely chose to rest! you want to drink some wine with friends, or you were just addicted to the short video ,for example tictok. you don’t want to use your brain again, you think your brain need to rest. so you would rather waste time on meaningless things. beacause learning a language is a course that you must use brain cells to remember or practice something. they would envy the people with a good foreign language, but they just think about learning a language, yes, just think. because they never go to learn.


in fact, i am talking about the current situations of many people. on the one hand, they want to learning something, for example a foreign language, a professional skill, on the other hand they were waste their time everyday. let me count it. everyone has 24 hours a day. it’s fair for everyone. in the most basic state, it takes 8 hours to sleep for a person (sleep is very important for humans!), the daily life such as washing, bathing and eating can take to 4 hours. you maybe need to exercise, if it is me, i will spend at least 1 hour exercising everyday. because with a good body, you can learn better. there are also 2 hours transit time. in the end, the one person can use the time just only 9 hours, it’s include the wroktime and yourself time. OMG! time is toooo precious. we must have the concept of cherishing time and using time, instead of wasting time.


then let me talk about the third point– no exposure to the language. as mention above, these person used their free time of 9 hours, they work very hard to learn a foreign language, even go to the language class twice a week or more than, they try to remember some words and text, but just that’s all. they lack of practice. as the author says, they cannot deeply process the words because they just learning in the classroom. i think this question is a adult’s no exposure. in fact, the learner like this situation was more and more, and the result is depressed — they learn very little.

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