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VI
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ZH

Learn foreign languages better overseas!

Adults do not learn languages as easily as children. Their brain is completely developed. Therefore, it can't establish new networks as easily anymore. But one can still learn a language very well as an adult! In order to do so, one must travel to the country where the language is spoken. A foreign language is learned especially effectively overseas. Anyone who has ever taken a language holiday knows this. One learns a new language better in its natural environment. A new study has just come to an interesting conclusion. It shows that a person learns a new language differently overseas as well! The brain can process the foreign language like the native language. Researchers have long believed that there are different learning processes. Now an experiment seems to have proven that. A group of test subjects had to learn a fictional language. Part of the test subjects went to regular lessons. The other part learned in a simulated overseas situation. These test subjects had to orient themselves in the foreign setting. Everyone with whom they had contact spoke the new language. The test subjects of this group were therefore not typical language students. They belonged to an unfamiliar community of speakers. This way they were forced to get help quickly with the new language. After a while the test subjects were tested. Both groups demonstrated an equally good knowledge of the new language. But their brains processed the foreign language differently! Those that learned "overseas" showed striking brain activities. Their brain processed the foreign grammar like their own language. The same mechanisms were identified in native speakers. A language holiday is the nicest and most effective form of learning!

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