Learn English like a child- that is my best advice. Children are the best and most natural language learners. If they are given the right conditions, they learn languages effortlessly. They naturally develop excellent pronunciation, excellent grammar, and excellent fluency.
When developing any skill, my philosophy is always the same– study the best. As a singing student, don’t study mediocre singers. Study the best singers in your favorite genre and try to learn their songs. As a runner, don’t study fat people… study the very best long distance endurance runners in the world– ultra-marathoners… and try to follow their methods.
As an English learner, you should do the same. Study the very best English learners in the world– the people who succeed at the highest level. Those people are young children.
How To Learn English Like A Child
Everyone who joins my free email Newsletter gets an e-book titled “Learn Languages Like Children”. The book discusses several of the secrets that children naturally use– that adults, unfortunately, forget.
However, there is one key secret that is not included in the e-book– and it is, perhaps, the most important secret of children: Connect & Have Fun!
I don’t know any young children who study English grammar rules– whether they are native speakers or non-native speakers. In fact, I don’t know any young children who “study” English at all.
Children don’t study. They are not so damn serious. Children communicate and children play. Their number one focus is always to have fun!
As a result, children are totally relaxed when learning a language. They don’t stress about mistakes. They don’t stress about their progress. They don’t constantly measure themselves with tests.
They just have fun… and in the process they absorb English easily and quickly.
Unfortunately, many adults seem to have trouble with this. Most adults are depressingly serious all the time. They are constantly worrying. They are constantly stressed. They are constantly measuring their own progress. They almost never seem to laugh or play or enjoy the process of learning.
No wonder adults are such slow learners!
Every day I get emails from stressed, worried adults. They are stressed because they “aren’t learning fast enough”. They are stressed because they “make too many mistakes when speaking”. They are stressed because they failed a test or got a bad grade. These people are absolutely miserable while learning English.
Here’s a scientific, research-based fact: miserable stressed people learn much more slowly. Specifically, they remember less of what they study, they learn grammar more slowly, they learn vocabulary more slowly, and they improve their pronunciation more slowly. Research shows that miserable stressed serious people also develop fluency much more slowly. Stress and misery are bad for your brain!
Of course, all adults are guilty of this at times. With my own language learning, I have often become too serious. I stressed. I became worried about my progress. As a result, I linked negative emotions to language learning and destroyed my own motivation.
So its time for all of us adults to lighten up, laugh, play, and have some damn fun with English!
This is the reason my Mini-Story lessons are so crazy. This is the reason I jump and shout and laugh and act like an idiot when I’m teaching. I’m using all of my energy to break the stress and seriousness of my adult students. I’m getting you to laugh.
My goal is to help you become children again, for just a little while…. because I know if you do, you will learn much faster.. and just as importantly, you will feel great while you are learning.
Have a great day, and remember to smile and laugh while learning English!