Some implications of research findings on sensitive periods in language learning for educational policy and practice
Opinions differ as to the implications of research findings on sensitive periods in language learning – and more generally, on age effects – for educational policy and practice. This is true even among those convinced of relationships among age of beginning a foreign language, rate of development, and long-term attainment. It is argued that policy recommendations need to be determined with clear reference to the general educational context, including the importance of foreign language abilities in the society, and for the individuals, concerned. Early and more recent research findings are then reviewed, and proposals made for future work on the issues.