Language learning as conservation

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Recent evidence suggest that linguistic diversity is vanishing at the same, if not faster, rate as biodiversity. While the reasons for this are manyfold, this talk starts from the premise that languages can only be preserved when they enter human minds and human interactions and explores how laboratory research can help us to better understand the process of language learning. The session will discuss experimental studies that show what properties of the language input are conducive to language learning, how they interact with characteristics of learners and whether some languages are more difficult to learn than others. It will link this research to widespread notions about what the best age for language learning is and what it means to ‘know’ a language. The session will conclude with suggestions for how laboratory research in experimental psychology can contribute to fostering a culture where learning and using multiple languages becomes a globally accepted norm that may contribute to preserving our rich linguistic diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2021
Event1st BPS International Psychology Student Conference: Equality and Inclusion, Connections in an International Context - virtual conference
Duration: 10 Jul 202110 Jul 2021
Conference number: 1st


Conference1st BPS International Psychology Student Conference
Internet address


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