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6 Factors that affect children’s ability to learn English as a foreign language

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Children grasp their native languages through mimicking sounds made by caregivers. Keen listening and persistent trial and error sustained for weeks and months finally upgrades them to fluent speakers. Despite its immense usage globally, English is largely a foreign language outside the United States and the United Kingdom. Most adults residing in nations where English isn’t spoken as a native language have trouble expressing themselves fluently because it’s hard to learn a foreign language at an advanced age.

Below are factors that hinder a child’s ability to become a fluent English speaker.

1. Teacher’s level of mastery

If the English teacher at your child’s kindergarten cannot pronounce words correctly, his or her students will also have a similar problem. Children largely rely on imitation when learning how to pronounce new words. A teacher who speaks English as a second or third language cannot expect his students to attain a level of fluency that’s equivalent to a native English speaker.

2. Time spent on practice

Learning how to fluently read and speak English requires significant effort. Schools that offer English lessons once or twice a week put their students at a disadvantage. For a child to enhance their proficiency, daily practice is required. A student requires daily reading and written assignments that will enhance their skills effectively.

3. Availability of learning resources

Learning is enhanced through presenting visual aids and a variety of course books to the students. Students cannot improve their reading skills by just being content with reading sentences written on the board during English lessons. Reading a variety of books helps students expand their vocabulary. A teacher should involve plenty of listening exercises to ensure students enhance their pronunciation skills.

4. Parent’s attitude towards English as a language

A child’s interest towards learning something new is influenced by his or her parent’s attitude towards it. In a home where parents are reluctant to express themselves in English, children will have an indifferent attitude towards becoming better at it. This attitude creates a mental barrier that becomes difficult to overcome with time.

5. Learning environment

Children quickly become timid in a class where the English teacher exhibits high intolerance towards learning mistakes. The faster a child is able to learn from their mistakes, the better they become at learning English as a foreign language. Fear cripples a child’s ability to think independently and ask important questions that will aid their understanding.

6. Exposure to new environments

Children who have the advantage of frequently traveling to various nations usually have a positive attitude towards learning English. It’s because they have realized first-hand how necessary English is in enabling communication when encountering people from diverse cultural backgrounds. On the other hand, students who rarely travel outside their familiar geographical settings cannot understand the immense benefits they stand to gain by learning English.

Summing it up

Your child’s ability to learn English as a foreign language can greatly be greatly enhanced by taking him or her to an ideal learning environment. Do you want your child to freely ask questions and granted ample room to make mistakes? Helen Doron’s Method is what kids need.