Many people are familiar with the concept of a "critical period" for language acquisition. The idea that people cannot master a new language after reaching a certain age is quite common.
Researchers do not agree on whether a critical period exists, and they do not agree on when this critical period may occur. Recommended ranges from 4 to 12 years old which is actually the range of Qkids English language teaching spectrum.
Conflict aside, research on bilingualism and second language learning converges firmly on a simple take-home point: the earlier is the better.
There may not be a sharp turn for the worse at any point in development, but there is an incremental decline in language learning abilities with age.
What are the factors affecting the process?
This point is best understood as the interaction between biological and environmental factors.
Researchers have argued that biological change during the first two decades of life results in a reduced capacity to learn and retain the subtleties of language. In other words, our brains may be more receptive to language early in life. But more importantly, our environment is also more conducive to language learning early in life. In many cultures and in many families, young children experience a very rich language environment during the first years of life.
They hear language in remarkable, digestible packets that are masterfully targeted at their developmental level Carers often speak in ways that are neither too simple nor too complex, and children practice language for hours and hours each day. This high-quality and high-volume experience with language, a particular feature of how people c