Children find it easy to learn languages because they are not conscious of doing it. It comes naturally since they learn by copying pronunciation and understand the rules as they progress with the knowledge of the language. English is not any different. At birth, we are all born with a clean slate. Children pick up information as they grow. They learn languages without any preconceived facts or information that may deter them from learning the language, even if it is a second one. Learning English is a fun activity that children can do with the adults, and it can be included in their play.
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In this article, Opal Dunn discusses how children learn English and the stages they follow as they learn.
“Young children are natural language acquirers; they are self-motivated to pick up language without conscious learning, unlike adolescents and adults. They have the ability to imitate pronunciation and work out the rules for themselves. Any idea that learning to talk in English is difficult does not occur to them unless it’s suggested by adults, who themselves probably learned English academically….” read more here
Children hardly ever consider learning a language difficult unless an adult keeps telling them that it is difficult. They will keep trying until they get the pronunciation and usage right. To children, learning English is simply acquiring a language, as opposed to consciously learning it. At a young age, children look at language as a natural process. They do not take the time to look at English as a second or first language. If someone teaches them to speak and write in English, they pick it up as something they are supposed to.
In this article, Roseli Serra discusses how to initiate interest in writing to your English learning.
“One of the biggest challenges teachers have faced in the classroom has to do with writing. Usually students do not want to write, because they have never been encouraged to do it or to enjoy it. It’s worth remembering that most people never write anything of any length in their daily lives, or anything using a pen and paper, or without using a spellchecker.” read more here
Younger children have a short attention span. This is probably why many do not enjoy writing. Additionally, writing is a solo activity that may not be as fun as reading out loud as a group or learning English with the aid of an adult. It is crucial for educators to find ways to make writing fun. When children start writing, they enjoy tracing words, writing their names, and the alphabet. However, they face challenges in writing. Given the option, many would opt for alternative ways of learning English, besides writing. It is vital to maintain an interest in learning English through to the writing phase.
In this article, Counseling@NYU Staff discusses some of the challenges faced by educators and students when it comes to teaching and learning English.
“Despite a push to train and recruit more bilingual teachers, school counselors, and school administrators, the US is facing a shortage of educators who can support issues relevant to English language learners. English language learners — often called ELL students or ELLs — are the fastest-growing student population group, according to the National Education Association.” read more here
English is a universal language that is used globally. This is the primary reason the demand for learning the English language has increased ten-fold in the past couple of years. Unfortunately, as more people accept the importance of learning English, the number of teachers has not increased in the same margin. Some of the reasons given for this gap include insufficient remunerations, an absence of robust training, and a faster growth of students seeking to learn English. Some of the students learn English as a second language. Unfortunately, the number of bilingual English educators is still limited.
Since English has been recognized as an essential mode of communication, it is crucial for parents and teachers to acknowledge that it is vital to start educating the kids from a tender age. Children find it easier to learn languages and do not face the same difficulties adults do when learning English. It is equally vital for educators to find ways to maintain the children’s interest in the English language even when they start learning how to write. Other subjects such as mathematics, sciences, history, geography and even art are taught in the English language if it is a predominantly English speaking area. Therefore all the more, it is important to have a good grasp of the English language from as young an age as possible.
Teaching is my passion. And learning is my life-long mission. I am an early childhood educator that strongly believes in co-learning, where children take on the role to explore and learn about the world with an educator’s guidance. This platform is to share my experiences with the people who are looking to see the world through the lens of a child.