Learning a new language and your age
The materials required for the science fair project experiment:
- 10 children aged between 10 and 15 years old
- 10 adults aged between 25 and 40 years old
- 1 CD recording of lesson in the foreign language (that the above 20 participants have not yet learned).
- 1 CD player
- A test paper with 50 multiple-choice questions regarding the meaning of words taught in the CD
- A quiet classroom
- A clock
- An assistant
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the two age-groups – 10 to 15 years and 25 to 40 years old. The dependent variable is the speed at which the participants are able to learn the second language. This is determined from the results of the test that they sit for. The constants (control variables) are the length of time they are allowed to listen to the CD, the number of test questions given and the time they are given to answer the questions.
2. The 20 participants are assembled in the classroom for 2 hours everyday to listen to the language CD. They are made to listen to the CD repeatedly for the next 7 days.
3. On the seventh day, they are made to sit for a test. The test will consist of 50 objective questions. The participants have to answer all questions in 1 hour. The questions are simple and ask for the meaning of words in English or the second language. The participants have to select the correct answers on paper.
4. After the hour is up, all question papers are collected and their scores tallied. The total number of correct answers for each participant is recorded in the table given below.