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'The New York Times' reports on language study

Anne Cutler, Processing

Date: 22 February 2017

Congratulations to CoEDL CI Anne Cutler and colleagues who continue to get wide coverage of their study of Dutch-speaking Korean adoptees. The research was published last month in Royal Society Open Science.

The study showed that language learning very early on in life can be subconsciously retained even when no conscious knowledge of the early experience remains. The subconscious knowledge can then be tapped to speed up re-learning of the sounds of the lost tongue, even including how to pronouce them. 

The study was of Dutch-speaking adults, some of whom had been adopted from Korea, but none of whom spoke Korean. The researchers found that people born in Korea and adopted as babies or toddlers by Dutch families were able to learn to make Korean sounds significantly better than the Dutch-speaking controls who had been born into Dutch families.

The New York Times is the latest media organisation to cover the research. To read the story click here.

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