HOW TO: Learn a second language depending on your age

Lucy Bustamante looks at language immersion and the only all-Spanish preschool in Virginia Beach.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Learning a second language is an achievable goal regardless of age, but depending on how old you are will determine the way in which you accomplish it.

There's no denying it. It's easier to pick up a second language if you are younger. 

Many schools implement second language classes into their curriculum. Some Spanish immersion programs are available for children as young as five years old. 

Children's Learning Paradise in Virginia Beach is the only all-Spanish preschool in the city.

"We have in each classroom one teacher that only speaks Spanish. The only teacher that only speaks English, so that they’re able to alternate back and forth,” said Luz Padilla, who started the school with her mom 15 years ago. 

It's that type of immersion that experts say will benefit children. 

“Multitasking, memory, concentration, problem solving, critical thinking, why don't we want our students to grow up with that?” said Padilla. 

Of course, it's possible to learn a second language later in life, It  just takes more effort.

Betty Rose Facer, Director of Old Dominion University's Language Lab, told 13News Now older brains need daily practice, much more than a child does.

"I tell my students that it’s much better to do something every single day than to cram or wait until the end of the week and do it all in one day," said Facer.

The best tip from Facer: Make friends with someone from a different country online who will speak the language with you.

 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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