Yes, from a perspective developed from extensive cross-disciplinary literature reviews and original quantitative research (Keeley, 2013, 2014) as well personal experience functioning in multiple and diverse languages in numerous domains, I argue that even when one learns an additional language as an adult it is possible to successfully speak with a native-like accent in the target language.
Success depends on many factors that vary over time and situations, so there is bound to be variation in how closely the adult learner/user passes for a native speaker at any given time. These factors interact with one another and are cognitive, sociological, psychological, and attitudinal in nature. Developing a flexible linguistic and cultural identity as well as high language ego permeability* are essential. In this blog I will discuss the factors which contribute to developing a native-like accent.
Learning foreign languages offers significant cognitive benefits that are accessible to individuals of all age groups. Research has consistently shown that language learning enhances memory, improves problem-solving skills, boosts cognitive flexibility, and enhances overall brain function. These benefits extend beyond linguistic proficiency and contribute to cognitive abilities in various domains, such as attention, executive functions, and multitasking. Furthermore, language learning has been associated with a delay in age-related cognitive decline and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative disorders. Whether starting early in childhood or embarking on language learning in adulthood, the cognitive advantages are tangible and provide lifelong benefits to individuals willing to explore the world of foreign languages.
It is possible to have a basic understanding of a language without knowing its culture but to fully understand a language, one needs to have some understanding of the culture that produced it.