It is never too late to start learning a new foreign language! This applies to both children and adults. Of course, it is much easier for children than for adults to learn new words, phrases and concepts, but research shows that depending on systematic work and willingness, any person at any age can effectively learn a foreign language.
However, learning a foreign language is definitely the easiest thing to do for the youngest students. This is because children do not have the so-called language barrier. Children express themselves willingly and freely, sing English songs and rhymes involuntarily, and use newly learned phrases eagerly. The youngest students are not afraid of making linguistic mistakes because they are always focused on communication.
Unfortunately, adults find it a bit more difficult to overcome the fear and uncertainty associated with the lack of vocabulary needed to communicate. Also, the process of remembering for adults is not as effective as in the case of children. Nevertheless, all adults are advised to start learning English because research has shown that keeping mental activity as long as possible, including learning a foreign language, directly translates into a longer and healthier life. By providing the mind with new stimuli, you care for its constant activity and efficiency. This, in turn, is crucial for the oldest group of learners starting to learn English.
Remember that at Novakid we teach children English through play. Classes are suitable for students aged 4-12. Therefore, they can learn English with native speakers from an early age!
Reasons to start learning English
Each person can have a different reason for starting to learn a foreign language. The youngest children and their parents have a different motivation to learn, youth and adults or the elderly have a different motivation. The good news is that it is never too late to start learning a foreign language.
For the youngest students, the stimulus to learn a language is most often the parents who want their child to learn English from an early age, or simply the school requirement, which states that all children from the first grade of primary school must attend foreign language lessons. For older children, an additional stimulus to learn a foreign language, most often English, may be a fascination with a country that they visited while on vacation or are planning to go there or are going on a student exchange to another country. A common reason for learning English among young people is also the desire to understand foreign movies, series, books, computer games and phone applications.
There are many reasons for adults who decide to start learning English or another foreign language, and some of them can be very individual. Most often, however, the stimulus to learn English among adults may be: a business trip, the need to use a foreign language at work, going abroad for good, getting to know beloved one from abroad, or the desire to communicate with a family that is living abroad for a long time.
Learning English – where to start
When starting to learn English, which is currently the most popular foreign language around the world, you should rethink your decision and set yourself up for a long-term work (several months or several years). Learning a foreign language will bring you the expected results only if it is meticulous and systematic, and you approach it positively.
You should consider that each person learns at a different pace, so you cannot assume at the outset that you will learn a language in a week, two weeks or a month. In fact, learning a language takes a lifetime! Gathering new linguistic experiences over the years, every day you learn something new and expand your language knowledge on a daily basis. Even people who are fluent in a foreign language are constantly learning new things. Knowing where to start to learn a language makes it easier!
You can choose to study on your own or start learning English with the help of someone, for example, a teacher. Adjust it to your level. In each case the plan may be slightly different – after all, when it comes to learning English, each plan is slightly different – it is important to be prepared, have the appropriate study materials at hand and finally – start talking in English! Although knowledge of the language at the native level may not be attainable – beginners will need appropriate motivation and a work plan. If you want to learn English at home, we’ll advise you how to prepare. Remember that we can help your child in Novakid. The online course at our school is convenient and effective. We help with learning, and you know exactly what progress your child is making. This is an ideal option for all beginners – our method will allow them to start speaking stress-free and you will be delighted!
Define your goal
To be effective in learning English from scratch, you must first define your goal. The goal should be measurable and within your capabilities. It is better not to assume at the start of learning that you will be fluent in a month. This could be a better goal: “I will learn 10 essential expressions in a week” or “I will learn 30 names of fruit and vegetables in English in two weeks”.
It is also worth considering why you or your children should learn English. Clear and precise definition of the goal of language learning helps you to maintain a high level of motivation, which in turn translates into faster learning progress. In addition, having a specific motivation to learn a language, you can choose the method best suited to your needs. Also in moments of weakness, when you feel tired and bored with learning English, the right motivation will help you to return to the right course or remind the child why it is worth to pursue the goal persistently. It is worth thinking positively at every stage of learning a foreign language and constantly remembering about the smaller and larger goals that we have set for ourselves or for the child at the very beginning.
Choose the appropriate method of learning English
Motivation to learn English can come from a variety of reasons, which means that for each person a different learning method may be the right one. Nowadays, there are a number of possibilities for learning a foreign language. Thanks to technological progress, we can easily learn English at home. You can choose self-study based on materials available on the Internet, online language courses, or individual lessons with native speakers online, offered by Novakid. This method is really effective! It teaches children to speak better and more fluently at all levels.
However, if you prefer to learn using traditional methods, during classic classes in a group with a teacher at a language school or individual meetings with a tutor, this option will also be a very effective solution. Regardless of the chosen method of learning English, remember that the learning will be effective only if it is systematic.
Start with the most common phrases
When you start learning a foreign language from scratch, at the very beginning, neither you nor your child will need grammar or complicated phrases. In order to get used to the sound and pronunciation of a new language, it is worth starting learning from the simplest and most frequent words used in conversations. You can start with simple words and sentences such as:
- My name is…
- I’m from…
- I’m X years old…
- Thank you
- Good morning!
- Persons: I, you, we, you, they,
- Time indications: always, never, sometimes, now, tomorrow, today
- Questions: Who? What? Where? How? When? How much/many? Why?
- Numbers from 1 to 10
- Conjunctions: and, because, but, so
Your goal should be to learn as many basic words and phrases that appear most frequently in the language as possible. A resource of about 100-200 simple words in English will allow you or your child to communicate on basic issues in a foreign language, e.g. during holidays abroad. At a later stage of learning, you can gradually introduce the simplest grammatical structures and combine newly learned words and phrases into whole correct sentences.
Combine business with pleasure
Learning through play is the best way to encourage younger and older children to learn and discover new things. After all, no one likes poring over the books and “cramming it by heart”. Fortunately, there are many other learning methods for starting to learn English from scratch.
The youngest ones will surely enjoy learning English from songs and nursery rhymes and from the characters of their favorite cartoons. A great choice for the youngest will be Peppa Pig, who will teach your child many useful phrases and words in English! Besides, you can also learn English by playing a memory game or a quiz.
Older students will also find many methods of learning English that combine business with pleasure. An interesting and engaging solution will be flashcards with which you can organize a knowledge quiz, as well as films, series, books and English-language magazines. All gimmicks are allowed, and the most important thing is to enjoy learning English. With this, you will not have to force yourself to regular learning, and the progress will be visible quicker.
Do not give up
It is obvious that when you start learning English or any other foreign language from scratch, you will make a lot of mistakes. However, do not be discouraged from further learning by them. Language learning is a long-term goal, so minor lapses will happen and should be treated as a valuable lesson for the future. If we say a word wrong and someone corrects us, that’s good! Thanks to this, we will remember the correct version of the phrase and in the future we will use it correctly.
Even if we allow ourselves to laze and fall behind while learning English from scratch, there is still no reason to get discouraged and give up completely. It is worth remembering your or your child’s motivation to learn a language and persistently pursue the goal. Any backlog can be made up for, and any mistake can be corrected. There are no infallible people, and everyone learns best from mistakes!
Don’t be afraid to talk!
This is one of the top tips for people starting to learn English. Even the most meticulous and systematic exercise, rewriting sentences and listening to pronunciation are not enough to make progress in everyday language use. Children find it easier than adults to use newly learned words and phrases in practice, because they do not have the so-called language barrier – they just try to get along at all costs.
At the very beginning of learning, it is not worth focusing too much on grammar. There will be time for it later. When learning a language from scratch, the main goal should be to communicate the message to the other person, even if we construct the simplest sentences, not entirely correct grammatically. Do not be ashamed of speaking English and it is worth breaking down your reservations to communication at all costs. In many situations, you may find it useful to gesticulate and replace unfamiliar words with those you already know.
How to start learning English – summary
It doesn’t take much to start learning English. The most important thing is motivation, a good plan and materials. Although the process takes time, you can start it no matter what level you are on. Currently we have huge possibilities. You don’t have to decide on one particular school, course or method. Find out what is best for you, prepare yourself and consistently meet your goal. You should know that learning English is always possible, not only in childhood – although the sooner you start, it will certainly be a lot easier later!