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How Children Learn English

18 April 2019

Let’s take a look at how children learn English at BSB Sanlitun, and the five reasons they are so good at language learning.

  • How Children Learn English
  • How Children Learn English
  • How Children Learn English

Reason 1: Children have Learning Opportunities

You could say that children have an advantage from the start because they start learning English without even deciding to. They’ll be having lessons at school and having regular contact with English.

BSB makes teaching English fun. Using songs and rhymes, children discover new vocabulary and pick it up naturally because they’re enjoying themselves. We create lessons every week to ensure children build on their skills and improve by making sure that they practise regularly.

Reason 2: Children Don’t Realise They’re Learning

Children embrace the challenge of learning because they don’t see it as a challenge at all!  They take it in their stride – because they often don’t notice it’s happening!

Language acquisition is how you gradually know the language better and better. This is subconscious, and comes as a result of interaction in your target language. Acquisition is something that children are good at – they’ve only recently acquired their first language after all (and they did fine with that).

One of the best ways to learn a language is to speak it and we ensure that the children get lots of speaking practice.

 3: Children Have an Ear for Phonemes — the Sounds of a Language

There are studies that prove children are especially skilled at learning phonemes, the distinct sounds that form a language. Research found that six to ten year olds have the biggest advantage in this respect. Learning a new language from a young age can mean that it takes less effort to end up sounding like a native.

Reason 4: Children Aren’t Afraid to Make Mistakes (They Just Learn from Them)

Adult language learners worry about sounding stupid, and this can stop them from getting out there and practising. However, children don’t seem fazed at all.

We encourage the children to speak from day one and they will make many mistakes, but the pressure is off, and they make lots of progress which will develop their confidence.

Reason 5: Children Ignore the Idea of Becoming Fluent

Focusing too much on the end result can be discouraging, a child doesn’t see fluency as a far-away goal – they don’t even see it as a goal.

As EAL teachers we enjoy seeing the progress our EAL learners make and for the summer term we look forward to even more success.  

By Allen Hubbard

Head of EAL (English as an Additional Language)