Brain Plasticity Theory

3809 Words16 Pages
1.0 INTRODUCTION Japan is an industrialized country but it is undeniable that they are left behind in English education. This is proven by their performance in TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) in 1997, where they ranked 180th out of 190 countries. In 2009, they were also the second-bottom in Asia TOEFL examination along with Tajikistan. (Hashimoto, 2004) Ranking result of IMD World Competitiveness showed that Japan is one the countries to have the lowest foreign language skills from 60 countries that were evaluated. (IMD, 2013) Despite of being the 5th in English Proficiency in Asia, English proficiency index in Japan had never improved and stayed approximately the same for the past 7 years, which is 55.8 out of 100 according to…show more content…
This hypothesis stated that there is a specific time frame when it is most effective for one to acquire language knowledge, and it would get much more difficult and effortful over time. (Birdsong, 1999) Another important theory worth to be analyzed is the theory of Brain Plasticity Theory. The theory explained about the period when the brain maintains its plasticity is within the first 10 years of one’s life, when it is optimum for language acquisition. It was believed that brain plasticity is not there anymore as one turns older. An example is given when a person lost their language ability because of an accident before puberty, they would be able to regain the languages skills instantly because the brain plasticity is still there. This is to show how plasticity of the brain plays a dominant role in language acquisition. Brain plasticity is basically is the ability of the brain to reorganize long lasting changes and new information gained through experiences. (Penfield and Roberts,…show more content…
A strong trait of Tokugawa rule is that they practiced anti-western policy which is more referred to as the close-door policy (Sakaku), in which they forbade Japanese society to be exposed to western influences. Japanese Christians were hunted and persecuted. Trade with western countries was strictly forbidden. They traded with Korea and China regularly at that time and surprisingly, the Dutch were allowed to keep a trading post in Nagasaki Harbour (Yumoto, 1958). A document which exemplified the Sakaku policy was Aizawa Seishisai’s Shinron (“New Theses”), which was written in 1825 after western ships intruded Japanese waters. Aizawa Seishisai was a prominent Confucian scholar and an advisor in the Tokugawa Shogunate court and he stressed how Westerners were causing bad effects on Japan as they spread Christianity and questioned their intention of entering Japanese waters. (Wakabayashi,

More about Brain Plasticity Theory

Open Document