Foreign language learning skills may be totally out of your control!
As unfortunate as it might be, the success (or failure) that you have when learning a foreign language may be completely out of your control and in fact, it could be a result of your genes. According to a study that was conducted by a group of University of Washington scientists, the results that high school students achieved in their foreign languages classes were determined based on their genes and brain structure.
variants, as well as the communication networks within the brain, are said to be the reason that some students received a higher grade, while others received much lower grades.
This study was based on the differences between students and how they learn, and as a result, they found out why some students achieve higher than others. Other studies have shown that COMT gene variations have a direct correlation with the changes that are made to brain white matter fibre-tract which is responsible for academic success.
When it comes to adults, not only does the COMT gene contribute to learning a second language but so do the diffusion properties in the white matter of particular areas of the brain which are known to benefit learning.
In comparison to students who didn’t attend a language class, scientists noticed that learning a foreign language helped to improve brain communication in some regions of the brain (which are responsible for learning languages) in students who attended a language class.
There are different variations of the COMT gene which impact brain structure in various ways. Scientists have determined that the COMT genotype of students who are in a language class is related to how the brain changes white matter fibre tract structure during their time learning a foreign language.
After collecting DNA samples from students who had participated in a language course, the researchers had determined that there were two COMT gene variations – valine and methionine valine – which were associated with increased levels of brain communications. In other words, those who had these variations of the COMT gene had a lot more success in learning foreign languages than those who didn’t.
It’s only natural that now you will want to find out which variant of the COMT gene you have!