Greg interviews Kru Nan from the “You Too Can Learn Thai” podcast. Greg begins with the theory of the ‘critical period,’ that the human brain is primed to learn languages early in life but not later. Kru Nan notes that the research is not final and that adults might actually have some advantages over children. For example, adults may be able to absorb more information more quickly and also to contextualize it because of their pre-existing knowledge about the way the world works.
Next, Greg and Kru Nan discuss the difference between beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners, from the nature of the class preparation to the study materials themselves. This leads to a fascinating discussion about how culture affects the interpretation of anecdotes and dreams. Listen in for details, but suffice it to say ‘snakes’ don’t always mean the same thing around the world. Kru Nan follows with several more fascinating examples of how culture – both pop and traditional – affect our use of language.
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