Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Michelle Kaplan
"The New York Radio Girl"

Have you ever watched a young child learning something new?

If you have then you see that they pick things up really quickly, and soak up everything around them.

Have you ever thought about trying to learn English in the same way?

Today we’re talking about how you can learn English like this, and soak up everything as a small child would, so you can get the most out of it.

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Children Learn So Quickly

Children are like sponges soaking up new information all the time.

They see something, they take it in, and then they learn it moving forward.

You can be like a child and learn a new language with ease, and it’s all about the approach that you take.

In this episode, you will learn five new tips to help you master a new language like a small child.

We also have a new web class that you want to sign up for, where one of the focuses is how we can listen and contribute in group conversations.

You can check out this course at Allearsenglish.com/coffee and it can be a great resource for you.

The idea behind this concept is that the younger the child, the more that they seem to absorb.

You want to be like this and really soak up whatever you can, and therefore really make this work for yourself in the same way.

There are certain things we can learn from small children, and their ability to learn and retain things is one of them.

This idea comes from Tavy Basley, from “French Speak”, who is the inspiration and then we added in some ideas.

For point of reference you can get to these ideas at Frenchspeak.com/au.

So let’s look at how this concept can serve you well when it comes to learning and mastering English.

Five Ways To Learn Like Small Children

Think of this from the standpoint of the small child that you are referring to here.

You have to engage small children, or you will lose their attention quickly.

You have to keep adults interested too, and so the same lessons and ideas work here for learning English as would apply to a young child learning something new.

Here are the five tips to learn English in this same sort of way.

1. Make it fun: You can’t just read a textbook or you will lose attention and motivation. You have to make it fun so that you are motivated and you want to stick with it. There are so many different ways to immerse and learn a new language, and you have to find fun ones. You may associate learning with hard work and homework, which isn’t motivating. You need to make it fun so that you like it and you stick with it. You don’t want to dread it and you want to look forward to it. You can learn through music, movies, TV shows, books, and so many fun ways to keep engaged. If you are learning through books, then sometimes go for speed and sometimes you go for fluency. The more that you switch it up and change your focus, the more that you will stay engaged and really look forward to learning every single day. You have to be interested in what you’re reading. If you get too used to something, your learning curve will fall—challenge yourself and keep it fun!

2. You may learn through repetition: Think of how young children use repetition to learn something. Drill weak points such as pronunciation, and really work at hearing that over and over. Answer the same set of questions about something out loud. Recognize when you are improving and really use this to build your confidence. Repeat things in your head all the time, as that’s a pro tip that even natives do. This can work well for learning a new language as you can repeat something in your head over and over until you master it. This is a great form of repetition and it may work well for you. It’s like a secret weapon when it comes to learning language.

3. Recognize how important it is not to worry about mistakes: We tell you all the time not to worry about mistakes or try to be perfect. Young children don’t care about making mistakes, and you want to do this yourself. You as adults shouldn’t get corrected, and you shouldn’t be so worried about the mistakes that you’re making. You don’t always want to use the same approach to correct everything you are saying, but rather focus on a few specific things. Focus on the general language comprehension. Try to make mistakes so you can learn from them, and this shows that you are really learning the language. Play around with it and change the parameters, as this can really benefit you in the long run!

4. Be intentional with your focus: Break things up into smaller activities, just as you would have to do for a young child. Smaller bursts of activities and learning can really work well to help you master something. Short bursts and activities help you to focus and pay attention, and then you change it up. This keeps your attention span, even for say 25 minutes for example, and then move to something else. This will keep it fresh, allow you to pay close attention and stay interested, and then switch to another activity so that it keeps you engaged.

5. With children we are patient and give them time, so do the same here: We give children the fundamentals and then work from there—you need to do the same for yourself. Understand when you are making yourself a wise challenge or when you are in over your head. Be patient and give yourself grace. Know where you are and what you can handle. This allows you to celebrate successes rather than constantly worry about trying to keep up. This helps you to stay motivated. Be smart about how you are learning so that it works for you. You have a good start, and now you want to tweak it to make this really work for you.

Take advantage of the things that help small children—this will make your learning more fun, more effective, and this will all work for you.

Tweak your perspective and try these things out, and see how it helps you.

This may work really well for you so that you can take your language learning to another place, and allow it to be fun again.

Takeaway

Take the time to watch how a small child learns something, as that is the fundamental concept driving things here.

If you are in tune with these tips, you can really pick up on things so much easier.

You want to be mindful of your approach, and know that you will make some mistakes along the way.

Never aim for perfection, but rather focus on how to keep it fun and beneficial.

If you can learn in this way and try to adapt to the learning style of a small child, you will make this a much more meaningful and enjoyable situation.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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