Predicting rate of second language learning

New research shows that brain ‘resting state’ is predictive of how easily adults can pick up a second language.

Is there a way to predict the aptitude for second language learning by adults? Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) graduate student Brianna Yamasaki explains a new study designed to answer this question. Yamasaki and colleagues measured brain activity from native English speakers that were obtained from EEG recordings during a brain “resting state”. Then participants completed eight weeks of French language training using a computer program. After training, there was a variability in the rate at which participants achieved levels of proficiency in the program. Correlations between these measures and the resting state EEG showed the activity in a certain area of the brain predicted the differences in language learning of the participants.

Read more about this research in The Conversation.