I read the following online on a site supposedly devoted to learning fluency in a second language:
“Language is like any other skill or aptitude: some people are proficient in languages, while others are better at math, science, or music. Everyone has the potential to learn, but the fact is that some people are just more capable of learning language than others.” About.com
Trying to acquire a second language as one would try to learn math, science, or music is so predominate, so pervasive in the minds of Americans that this sort of statement is posted on a site that purports to be an authority on second language acquisition.
If this statement is true, then just how did you become fluent in your native tongue? If “language is like any other skill like math, science, or music,” then under which academic textbook, classroom, workbook, teacher, or school did you study to become fluent in your native language?
When spoken fluency is relegated to the level of learning just another academic subject, the one thing that can be guaranteed is that the seeker of spoken fluency is NOT going to become fluent in the target language. They will learn how to read text in the second language but they will not develop spoken fluency.
I mean, really, think about this statement for a while. If learning language were indeed like any other skill or aptitude, “some are better at it than others,” then only those with the aptitude for their native language would be able to speak it.
The sad thing is the instinct to learn speech, no matter from which language is alive and well in even the oldest adult’s brain. Apart from having a brain disease process going full tilt, you can learn any language, no matter your age or lousy disposition.