Last week, I shared a really interesting article about how children learn language.
(If you didn’t get a chance to read the article, you can do so here.)
This week I just wanted to expand on the article, and give you a few ideas to help any children in your life to learn the languages they’re working on.
One of the key things that the article outlined was that children learn best when they don’t even realise they’re learning.
Think about it like this: your mother tongue comes naturally. You don’t think about it, you just learn, almost by osmosis.
And when a child is learning a secondary language, generally that’s not how they’re taught.
It turns into a ‘classroom’ type setting; with workbooks, and questions, answers and tests. Which stops the learning being fun, and turns it into conscious ‘learning’.
Automatically it becomes less effective. The children realise they’re learning, and a barrier goes up, either consciously or subconsciously.
If you’re serious about your child learning another language, it’s vital that you find a way for them to learn through play, to take the consciousness out of, and inject fun back into it.
Ever wonder why people learn a language so much more effectively when they spend a significant amount of time in a country where that’s the predominant language?
It’s because they’re immersed in it. They’re not just sitting at a desk listening to a teacher.
They’re living it and breathing it.
I’m always after new ways to make that happen at VICI – to take the consciousness out of the learning and focus on it being fun.
One of the big things we do for our students is create workshops around a topic that they’re already interested in, and find fun things to do within that workshop.
We did it just last month for Halloween, creating a workshop that taught language whilst allowing the kids to have a great time – it was a real hit!
“There’s definitely a big takeaway here – the more you can keep learning fun by using resources and content that your kids are already interested in (like movies, arts, crafts, games, music, dressing up and a whole load of other things!), the easier it is for them to learn.”
By making the process fun, they forget that they’re learning a language and massively increases the effectiveness of the ‘learning’ process too.