Your child is learning English in school. He comes home every day with lots of new words and he’s starting to speak comfortably. Even his pronunciation is good! You work hard at improving your English skills, but despite all your efforts, your child is already speaking better than you. What can you do?
1. Ignore the experts. Most language experts say it’s easier to learn a second language when you’re young. But that’s the thing – everything seems easier when you’re a kid! No matter what your age, learning a new language is possible. More importantly, it’s achievable. So don’t let those “experts” discourage you.
2. Learn to love your accent. As you grow from childhood to adolescence and adulthood, your chances of sounding exactly like a native speaker become less and less. You may wish your English was indistinguishable from a native-born Australian or American, but if you didn’t start learning English before age 10 you’ll probably always speak with a slight accent. Don’t worry about it. As long as your grammar and pronunciation are correct, the accent just makes you more interesting! Plus, it’s a great conversation starter: “So where are you from?”
3. Think like a kid. This task is a little tougher. Kids have an edge on adults when it comes to learning a new language because they’re less aware of themselves. They don’t worry about making mistakes, which is a key to learning. No one will think less of you. Rather, they’ll be impressed.
4. Practice, practice, practice. There’s only one way to improve your speaking ability. And that’s to speak. A lot! If you wonder why your child is improving so quickly, it’s probably because she gets a lot of practice. Is it because she spends more time in a classroom? No! Kids don’t think about looking or sounding silly, so they get practice by just being themselves.
5. Do what kids do. Use the Internet! The Internet has many English-learning resources. For example, online English conversation classes are a great way for busy adults to get regular speaking practice. If you use Englishlive.ef.com, log onto the Internet and join a live conversation class with a professional native English-speaking teacher at your convenience. The classes are small and offered every hour and every day – 24 hours a day. All you need is a computer and Internet connection. You can try the school for a week, absolutely free. And you don’t have to be a kid to take advantage of such a great opportunity!