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Teacher Talk

Learning Languages by Emulating Children

englishteacher24/7

United States

Learning languages can be a difficult endeavor, however, children have a pretty good track record in learning their mother language.  Since this is the case, it is beneficial to consider some of their attributes in learning a language.  Let's consider the following:

1.  Children are fluent in language from the ages of 3-5 years.

2.  Children learn language without formal instruction.

3.  Children learn without having experience.

4.  Children learn 10-15 new words per day.

5.  Children learn as the need to know occurs.

6.  Children use their vocabulary to determine how to express themselves.

7.  Children do not focus on difficulty of not knowing the language or become discouraged in their learning progress.

8.  Children learn language by being immersed in it.

9.  Children have a mind to learn.

10.Children do not quit learning their language.

This list is not exhaustive, the bottom line is:  Can we not learn from emulating children?

07:16 AM Oct 08 2010 |

Go to the TOEFL® page >

bystander :-)

Hungary

We just need the appropriate environment to be able to behave like them :)  

07:39 AM Oct 08 2010 |

f_r_a_n_c_e_s_c_o

Italy

I think the most important thing is to be in touch as much as possible with the language we want to learn. Children can do this often with the aid of parents, brothers and sisters, TV, books and most of all with no stress of work and responsibilities and with a lot of time available. When we aren't children anymore, learning a language gets difficult because we don't have same possibilities that we had when we were younger.

12:44 AM Oct 12 2010 |

englishteacher24/7

United States

bystander and francesco, I agree with you.  The bottom line is immersion in the language.

06:28 AM Oct 12 2010 |

bystander :-)

Hungary

I don't agree sorry. This immersion doesn't work without the pleasure :) at least from my side.

The bottom line is to find enjoyment in it (to be interested and excited of the topic), after I can immerse myself in it. This is essential :)  and only one opinion…

10:12 AM Oct 12 2010 |

f_r_a_n_c_e_s_c_o

Italy

I'm sorry but I don't agree with you. If i have to read or listen english stuff only if i like it, then i don't read and don't watch the half of things I usually read and watch. I think the immersion means to work with every english material we find. I like technology for example, but i try to read subjects like the economy, the love, stories of journeys, and so on. Not all of what I read i like or i'm interested in, but this the better way to love a foreign language. Like always, this is only an opinion and i respect yours.

10:35 AM Oct 12 2010 |

bystander :-)

Hungary

'this the better way to love a foreign language'  

...to force yourself? :D no, i dont think so…I can't love something forcing myself.

I just try to find an enyojable method for me, not have to be forced. I also read, listen to and watch, but not forced :D 

Yeah the disadvantage of this is , it takes too much time…but i have enough… 

11:20 AM Oct 12 2010 |

f_r_a_n_c_e_s_c_o

Italy

"Yeah the disadvantage of this is , it takes too much time…but i have enough… "

this is the point. i want to learn fast. however it's a pleasure to exchange opinions.
bye
Smile

11:30 AM Oct 12 2010 |

RachealXiao

China

I completely agree with bystander . if we immigrant to a english-native, maybe at fisrt period time, we can't talk to them influently, but after a long time, I believe that we can speak english just like a english-native somehow, at least, there is no obstrcle to communicate with the locals.

09:48 AM Oct 25 2010 |