Yes way! 5 tips from children for better learning

Child learnIt’s almost a cliché to say that children learn fast; that they are like sponges  Have you ever wondered why? Let’s check some aspects of their (natural and innocent) wisdom:

1. Children are ready to make mistakes

They do not think ten times before uttering a word or a sentence. Children take risks all the time. They do not like to be laughed at, but they soon forget that laughter can happen when they make a mistake. I love this specific forgetfulness (and forgiveness) kids have within them. We have so much to learn from these creatures. Without knowing it, children use the ‘trial and error’ approach all the time. They do not see a problem; they focus only on attempts. Very often we adults work in a very different way. We drag problems around with us and create obstacles that only suppress or limit our potential. When learning something, we have to watch that we are not our worst enemies.

Tire suas dúvidas sobre os tempos verbais, baixe um guia grátis da Englishtown: Guia de Tempos Verbais em Inglês. Ele contém um resumo bem estruturado para revisar os conceitos que você aprendeu na escola. Clique aqui e saiba como baixar!

2. Children accept correction

Although children throw tantrums to make their point or get what they want in many circumstances, when language is at stake they want to get it right. They pay attention to your correction and even repeat what you have said. Children are extremely clever. They do not really take note or care whether you are being arrogant or trying to be superior. They want to learn, which is the main thing to them. You see, children pay more attention to what is relevant. As we grow older, we become too aware of people’s way of saying things and their intentions and we get easily offended. It is too much thinking and precaution that spoils everything. When we get what we need, we grow; when we concentrate on how it could be or how wrong is being done, we simply do not enjoy learning.

3. Children love stories

We all love stories, but we tend to leave fiction behind as we grow older. What is offered to us is gossip with juicy details of the lives of celebrities and that is the closest thing to fiction and fantasy that we have. Children are more realistic when it comes to fantasy! They demand really impossible plots and amazing heroes. Kids want it all. No wonder the industry for this audience does so well. Now, the stories for kids are interesting for us not only because of the unlikelihood of their events and the characters that make us laugh. They present a simple language, yet sophisticated thoughts and great imagination. If you want to learn more English and invest in your writing, kids’ books are great tools: simple structures with lots of verbs (they need lots of action, you see!) and other new words. Have fun reading this one: The Brave Monkey Pirate.

4. Children learn all the time

We tend to be concerned with time for studying and methods to use. These concerns are important, but they can be real dampeners. When we think we have to plan too much our learning, the whole thing becomes a bit of a burden. Not that we should not plan; we just need to enjoy everything around as learning opportunities. Did you read the Brave monkey on the link above? A child would make connections with real life and reproduce what the monkey does and the way he responds to his challenges. When children are walking around, they point to things and sometimes we do not have a clue what they mean. However, they do. They are linking knowledge, characters and situations. The best way to learn is to do it all the time, because it is then just another moment, not a specific time to stop and learn. Children demand meaningful learning. Even fiction is applied when they use their toys to come up with a new story, having learned new things from animated videos or books. When we incorporate learning in our daily lives, everything makes more sense. It is not isolated knowledge here and there; it is ‘incorporating experiences’.

Smart Kid

5. Children have fun

Among other activities, I looked after three kids here in Ireland for a good while. It was a dream job for those with a student visa, as I worked 4 hours a day from Monday to Friday with good wages and I loved it. Calvin, the oldest child, was way too smart and I had to be thinking ahead of him all the time. I can’t really tell you how much English I learned from him. Children are great teachers and the best thing is that they do not assess you! Calvin arrived one day from school saying to everyone, “I dare you!”. It was so much fun for him to be running around shouting ‘I dare you’. I could not help myself; he had me in stitches. Another day when I asked Calvin to get into the buggy and prepare to go to the park, he came with his newest expression, “No way!”. I decided to play his game and said, “Yes, way!”. At that point, he burst into laughter and said that ‘yes way’ did not exist. He loved it though. When we got back home from the park, the cleaner said to Cal that he was ‘not’ allowed to play near the ironing board. Guess what he replied, “Yes way!”

Enjoy learning as a child!

Aplicativo para Ampliar o Vocabulário

Você tem dificuldade para se lembrar das palavras, phrasal verbs e expressões em inglês? Conheça o "Meu Vocabulário: Um aplicativo para ampliar o seu vocabulário em inglês" e veja como nossa equipe resolveu esse problema definitivamente.

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Erica De Monaco Lowry

Erica De Monaco Lowry has been living in Ireland since 2008. She is a teacher, an interpreter, a translator, a tour guide and an insatiable learner. Her favorite pastimes include reading, travelling, socialising and catching up with her family.

19 comentários

  • 21/05/13  
    Cllaro diz: 1

    Wonderful text! Learn with children and as children learn.

  • 21/05/13  
    Wagner dos Santos diz: 2

    Excelente assunto Erica.
    É realmente importante nos basearmos nas crianças para o aprendizado, ter essa vontade de aprender e sem ficar preso a julgamentos de outras pessoas. Realmente motivador.

    • 22/05/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      As criancas sao modelo. E o melhor: elas nao sabem disso! :-)

  • 21/05/13  
    Chris :D diz: 3

    I spent a certain amount of time in front of my computer trying the find the proper words to express how great this article is. So I came up with this: THANK YOU FOR SHARING.

    By the way I did read the “The Brave Monkey Pirate” story and as a grown up kid I loved it and I used it to improve my English. I pretended I was being interviwed on a Talk Show and I had to tell what the story is about and what message it brings to kids. I also had no idea what was the meaning of “to run errands” untill now. This story will help me to never forget it and to start using it from now on.

    Resumindo: Pessoal, façam um bom uso das informações contidas neste site. Leiam, participem do chat, comentem, aprendam coisas novas, dividam o que já sabem. Como alguns viram em meus vídeos, eu já falo Inglês razoavelmente bem e dou aulas a 05 anos e aprendi bastante com com esse artigo e a estória sugerida pela autora. Usando os recursos que existem hoje qualquer pessoa esforçada pode desenvolver um ótimo Inglês.

    (sorry por qualquer erro em Inglês ou Português – ainda aprendendo os dois rs)

    Bye Bye – Chris – “Please, have a sense of humor!” :D

    • 22/05/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thank you so much, Chris. A very encouraging post indeed this of yours! So good to know that someone else tread the ‘The Brave Monkye Pirate’! And thanks for urging people to show up more here. :-)

  • 22/05/13  
    Pedro Alexandre diz: 4

    Loved it. Congrats on this piece, the points made and your sensibility.

    • 22/05/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks, Pedro. Always good to have feedback. :-)

  • 22/05/13  
    Augsuto Monteiro diz: 5

    I loved it! :D

    • 22/05/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Glad you did, Augusto! :-)

  • 22/05/13  
    Nancy diz: 6

    Your text is awfully interesting and useful for all that want speaking English fluently.
    Thank you so much.

    Please, correct my mistakes.

    • 22/05/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Nancy. Thanks for your ‘awfully nice’ comment! I think you meant: “…and useful for all those who want (or everyone who wants) to speak English fluently.” :-)

  • 22/05/13  
    Stan diz: 7

    quanto menos compararmos com a língua nativa, ns Português, por exemplo…melhor será a assimilação e fixação de uma língua estrangeira….como no caso das crianças, que estão em fase de aprendizagem e atingem um bom resultado.

    great post!!!
    tks a lot

    • 26/05/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thank you for your comment, Stan. :-)

  • 23/05/13  
    R. Batista diz: 8

    Hey Erica, congrats for this fantastic article – it can be applied applied on different aspects of life and it really reinforces the concepts of learning :)

  • 23/05/13  
    R. Batista diz: 9

    I will show up around more often after this one :)

    • 26/05/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks, R. And, please, do show up more here. :-)