‘Practice Makes Perfect’

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Just about every adult will agree with this statement. What’s most amazing about it is that children don’t practice their language! They either ‘know’ what they want to say, and they say it, or they don’t ‘know’ what they want to say, and they are quiet.* Where do they gain the ‘know’ from? They ‘know’ as a result of their experiences in that language and culture. Never from practice! And for all the practice that adults do, they still can’t match the perfection of the child!

*(While there is an early period of mimicry, it may have more to do with physiological development than with language acquisition itself. Where young children are learning a second language, this mimicry is largely absent.)