Why is it important for kids to be bilingual and learn English

English is globally accepted as a language of communication and even business transactions. Almost all webpages are written in English. This is enough cue on how important English as a language is in our daily lives. You can’t miss an opportunity to learn English. It is the most common way to get along with the rest of the world.


A Ted talk explaining how to learn any language in 6 months!

Most people are not native English speakers, they learnt it as a second language. Various individuals or groups have different reasons for learning English as their second language, which include but not limited to the following:

  • For effective communication with people from various walks of life.
  • For competitive employment opportunities
  • As a requirement to win the Green Card lottery
  • Knowing English opens up countries like Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands together with their cultures up to you
  • English is the language of Science
  • It is based on alphabets thus easy to learn compared to others like Chinese
  • It is widely used in the film industry. Knowing it makes you not rely on the subtitles

Whatever your reasons they are valid and at the end of the day you should be able to communicate that is;

Speak
Hear
Write
read
understand

The following are detailed tricks and tips that you can easily rely on and start communicating in English. When in doubt and in need to get back on track you can always refer back to the well-structured ‘cook-book’ (independent) strategies:

Positive Attitude

Attitude is the core of getting English into your head. Think it is easy to learn and it will be so. The opposite is true.
The power of positive attitude can enormously crash all the barriers there are to learning English. In addition, it helps you cope up with the daily errands of life giving you peace of mind and allowing smooth learning process. Adopting positive attitude as your way of life brings noticeable changes in your vocabularies and knowledge of the language.

Positive attitude allows serenity and get the benefits of the following making it even easier
to learn English;

Positive thoughts
Productive thinking
Artistic thinking
Buoyancy
Motivation towards accomplishing tasks

Employ right mindset

Before you begin to learn make sure you are in the right mindset. A mindset that will allow you get the most out of the learning. Reevaluate your mindset now and then to assure yourself that you are very ready to get the new language into your head.
Create an experience that covers all the human senses, that is audio, visual, smell, touch and taste. Incorporating all the senses fortifies the acquired information by putting it in the long term memory. This way you will find yourself using English as your thinking language, a language you are learning to use, thanks to the right mindset and incorporating all the senses.

Apply Instructions from Classroom outside the Classroom Setting

A famous person once said that education is what remains after finishing school. The same applies here. Applying what you learnt in the class in various contexts is the true intention of learning. The initial intention of attending lessons is to use the information gained outside the class correctly. Understand then get understood in return. Use the knowledge got everywhere you go.

Learn the precepts of acquiring second Language

First, get rid of all the myths and misconceptions of second language acquisition. They literally bar one from effectively learning the intended language. Some of these misconceptions include:

you need a vast vocabulary to learn the language
one needs to speak like the natives

These have mislead many learners forcing others to give up on the way. Because of the misconceptions many students have focused on learning new words and looking dismissing the basics. This makes it hard to communicate for they lack the basic skills to utilize the vast vocabulary.
Also, they try to copy the native speakers. Many students struggle to speak like Americans or Britons. At the end they find out that it is almost impossible to speak like the natives. They need to understand that the natives were born speaking the language and then are studying it while adults. However, they can solely focus on the basic rules overlooking how they pronounce the words, as long as they are understood.

Take advantage of the available technology

The internet provides a sea of information on your subject of interest. Take full advantage of it. Subscribe to newsletters on how to effectively learn English. Download as many audio books as you can. Join communities tackling the same subject as you.

Audio Books
These are set of books with both written words and the reading all put together.

Advantages

has good easy to understand interpretive read
has the privilege of critical listening
teach on pronunciation and humor in the book
Recaptures the sensation of listening to stories.

Make sure to fully utilize the vast information on the internet and take advantage of the various forms the information comes in.

Be a regular learner and set realistic goals

Be a lifelong learner. Because English is foreign to you, it requires attention. You need to be studying it on a daily basis to familiarize your memory with it more often. This will ensure permanent retention. The more you study the more you remember and the more the information becomes permanent and in addition the more likely you use the studied information.
Be true to yourself by setting achievable goals. Setting realistic goals give you the motivation you need to be studying daily till the information sticks. Unrealistic goals will demotivate you from studied more at the end making you dismiss your morale to study this new language that you once thought was interesting.
Being real and setting achievable goals will make the learning process easier and fun making the student look forward to learning daily. As a newbie in the English language draft a realistic plan and how to execute the plan.

Come up with ideas to use when alone and when with your fellow learners

Be creative enough to know what materials you can easily recall when alone and when in a group of your fellow learners, this ensures that you are all the time in progress with the learning of English whether alone or with colleagues.

Learn English at a young age

It is vitally important to allow or give the opportunity for the child to be exposed and learn the language at a young age. Between age 3 – 6 is the crucial age where kids brain is like a sponge.
As seen above English is important and learning is a lifetime investment. The following are some other strategies also used by Monkey Tree English Learning Center that you can easily use to facilitate proper learning:

Set up English conversation opportunities with teachers and peers
Provide opportunities for kids to practice what they learn

Kids have very short attention span and so lessons should be conducted in a fun and interactive learning environment to help kids develop interest in the language. Once they have an adequate interest, the will be internally motivated to learn. Monkey Tree conduct English lessons in a fun and interactive environment and has also provided free sample English phonics workbooks which can be downloaded via https://issuu.com/monkeytreehongkong.

Those who are interested can also view their course brochures posted on pinterest.

3M – Motivation, Mastering, Maintaining


The 3M- In sports and/or in life, there is a set rule with learning a new skill. There must be a reason to learn a new skill, in turn it will ignite the inner fire of oneself, motivating oneself to learn the new skill. It then leads to a mastering phase and into the maintenance phase. Every skill learned/acquired must go through this phase and it is only going through the completion of the 3M phase then the skill is considered mastered.

Phase:

  1. Identify the skill you want to learn
    1. Say “I want to learn basketball”
  2. Find the one particular skill you want to focus on first
    1. Say you picked “dribbling”
  3. Watch a few videos to see how to dribble a ball
    1. This is to give yourself a reference point
  4. Test your skill and see where  you are at
  5. Break down the dribbling skill to its simplest form
    1. Say if you haven’t dribbled before…
      1. 1st phase – bounce the ball 5 – 10 times (dominant hand – maybe just flapping the hand) to get an idea
      2. 2nd phase – remove the ball and learn the arm motion of bouncing a ball (flexing the arm)
      3. 3rd phase – add the ball back and do adjustment on (trials – bounces)
    2. This is the simplest form of breaking down a skill and obviously there are more to skill deconstruction and depending on skills and the circumstances of the situation.

The one thing should take note on is…

  1. breaking down a skill requires a thorough analysis of a situation. If the break down is not good, it will affect the learning experience.

In the above video, Tim Ferriss demonstrates how to master a skill by deconstructing it. This is one of the most fundamental and yet most effective way to learn and master a skill.


Josh Kaufman reveals a new approach for acquiring new skills quickly with just a small amount of practice each day.

Josh Kaufman’s The first 20 hour rule – how to learn anything in 20 hours. A great video on learning a new skill.