This book examines the evidence relative to the idea that there is an age factor in first and second language acquisition, evidence that has sources ranging from studies of feral children to evaluations of language programmes in primary schools. It goes on to explore the various explanations that have been advanced to account for such evidence. Finally, it looks at the educational ramifications of the age question, with particular regard to formal second language teaching in the early school years and in `third age' contexts.
David Singleton is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Centre for Language and Communication Studies, Trinity College Dublin. He belongs to a wide range of research networks and has been particularly active in the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics, the Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquee and the European Second Language Association. His recent publications have focused on cross-linguistic influence, the L2 lexicon and the topic of the present volume, the age factor in language acquisition. Lisa Ryan is completing a PhD in Child Language Acquisition at Trinity College Dublin. Her current post is that of Principal Speech and Language Therapist for Community Care in Area 7 of the Northern Area Health Board, Dublin. She is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and also sits on the Education Committee and the Publications Committee of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists.
Foreword; Introduction; 1) Evidence of Speech Milestones; 2) The Critical Period Hypothesis: L1-related evidence; 3) The Critical Period Hypothesis: L2-related evidence; 4) Theoretical Perspectives; 5) The L2 Educational Dimension; Concluding Remarks; Bibliography