Research by Harriet Bowden, an assistant professor of Spanish at UT, indicates that native-like brain processing of a second language is possible for university students.
Past research had suggested that adults with a very high level of second-language instruction and practice eventually could attain native-language-like brain processing.
Bowden and colleagues discovered that when students study a second language in normal university classes and then follow up with as little as one semester of immersion experience abroad, their brains also begin to process that second language in a way that is very similar to native speakers.
Findings from the study have just been published online by the journalNeuropsychologia. The print edition is forthcoming. More.