Why We Need to Learn A Second Language

How could a neuroscience tragic and a European languages obsessive get to attend a better series of public lectures at The University of the Sunshine Coast than those taking place throughout May & June on language and the brain? Dr Michael Nagel recently spoke about cutting edge research that tells us how the brain develops, how we learn, how we learn to talk, what keeps the brain active as we face cognitive decline (from around the age of 30) and some of the misconceptions around learning and behaviour that, coincidentally, many providers of human development services still cling to. What we know The brain is geared to survive, then to learn The brain begins to form around 17 days after conception At age 3 or 4, the brain switches from “what” to “why” (hence all those questions) The brain continues to develop until around age 18 or 19 with a bit of fine-tuning for the next few years The brain develops the most between the ages of 12 & 18 (that explains a lot) The frontal lobes (‘executive’ brain functions reside here) are the last to develop – the brain matures from the back to the front The prefrontal cortex is responsible for activities such as anticipation, learning from mistakes, concentration, empathy, sequencing, judging, inhibiting emotions and more – the adolescent brain isn’t there yet (also explains a lot) What you do in your teenage years will solidify your hard wires The brain functions optimally when we’re active, eat well and drink lots of water The brain responds positively to encouragement, recognition, social connection, certainty, fairness, feelings of empowerment...