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First of all, I have to say thank you to Mika, because I came up with the idea for this week’s topic after reading her comment on the last entry. (Happy birthday, by the way!) For those of you who didn’t see it, she wrote…
The truth was that my father had worried about my academic ability and that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my lessons, therefore he changed my birthday to April 1st on my birth certificate. He had thought that I would enter elementary school one year later than my appointed year.
I don’t know whether you are aware of this, but a lot of research has been done on the “relative age effect” in sports. I may be wrong, but I think the first sport in which its importance was identified was ice hockey. Here is a summary of a research paper written on the topic in 2010.
At young ages, a few extra months of development can make a big difference in size, strength, and athletic ability. A child who turns 5 years old in January will be nearly 20% older by the time a child born in December has their 5th birthday. In many sports, including hockey, children born in the early months of the calendar year get noticed by their coaches because of the superiority they demonstrate due to their age advantage. As a result, boys born early in the year are more likely to reach the professional ranks of the National Hockey League (NHL). The phenomenon just described has been labeled the relative age effect (RAE).
I remember being very interested in this idea when I first heard about it because my birthday is in May, which is quite late in the British school year. I do remember that there were a lot of boys in my year who were much bigger than I was, and it was never going to be possible for someone of my size to compete with them at sports. (Another problem was the fact that I didn’t have any talent, but that’s a separate issue!)
I believe that similar research has been done on the RAE in academic achievement, and it seems that children who are slightly older than their peers have a big advantage in this area, too.
This week, I would like to hear about everyone’s experience of this phenomenon, both as a child yourself and, for some of you, as a parent. How important do you think the RAE is? Did it make a difference to your experience at school?
Look forward to hearing your thoughts.
このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか？」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ！
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