English from scratch: When to start?

All modern parents understand the need to learn a foreign language, and they choose English most often. But the main question is: "When should children start learning English?”

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There are two opposing views

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Some believe that it is better to start at school age, but others are ready to start learning English almost immediately after birth. Let us look at the pros and cons of these approaches.


  • English lessons begin at school. Children understand that this is a lesson, so they are interested and serious.
  • At this age, the sound-letter system of the native language has already formed, and learning this system in English will help if a child has some speech disorders.
  • A child is not afraid to get acquainted with other children or offer ideas for games, and they begin to show independence. Communication goes beyond the family circle, and knowledge of the English language will be used while traveling abroad or on vacation. This use of English is an additional incentive for results-oriented study rather than study for "general development".


  • Students know the difference between the preschool and school environment. If a child starts learning English from scratch at school age, then they will have a specific attitude to the learning process, as they have already experienced a subject-specific system. Also, it will be more difficult for a teacher to engage a child and prove that learning English for beginners in language schools is not the same as at school.
  • The first school years are very stressful for children. In the 1st grade, students feel stressed due to a dramatic change in their life. In the 2nd grade, kids experience stress because of more challenging subjects. English is the highest form of abstraction. In the beginning, children cannot consciously use their memory, and the existing experience of learning their native language will not help them.
  • At school, children learn the writing and grammar of their native language. Learning a foreign language alongside this will cause confusion and internal protest in a child.

English from birth

An early passion for English will not always have a positive effect and long-lasting results.

When learning a foreign language since birth will be justified?

When one of the parents speaks only English or when a child lives both in their native country and, for example, in America. Bilingual children mix both languages for a long time and have some speaking difficulties if they go to their native-speaking kindergarten. This issue is because the brain learns two language systems simultaneously and very quickly, but the passive vocabulary cannot turn into an active one so fast, so a child will use a word of the language that they can remember faster.

It is also important to know...

The "pros" of early learning is that children immediately demonstrate their skills. Children who learn English from scratch at a very early age speak it as a mix of English and their native language’s words. They automatically use the first word that comes to their mind in the conversation. They count, name colours, command, play, sing songs, quote characters of animated films in English. But note that the leading language for a child will be the language which they speak most often. If the second language is not constantly used, the child will quickly forget it.

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What do the experts say?

The best age to learn English from scratch is 4-5 years old. Children already speak their native language fluently, and their memory still remembers how they mastered that language. The new language will be easy to learn, and a child will not experience any trouble.

Learning English "for general development" will develop memory, attention, imagination and abstract thinking. It will also form the second language system, which, provided the involvement of conscious mechanisms for learning and memorising, the language will not be perceived as strange and foreign.

Kids will look forward to our video lessons!

And the teachers of Novakid Online English School will take care of making exciting and helpful lessons for your child, who is just starting to learn English from scratch. Our video lessons will not leave your child indifferent, and learning English through complete immersion in the language environment will become an exciting process!

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