The way children learn language is amazing. Up to about age ten, they can acquire them with no need to study grammar. As we get older, we lose that skill but there’s still a lot we can learn about a language by practising with kids. In fact, it can help us learn faster and here’s why.
Children aren’t self-conscious about acting. When we become adults, acting and playing can be embarrassing whereas for kids, it’s fun. If you are practising English with your kids, it’s a great chance to do little role plays. For example, one person could be a shopkeeper and the other a customer. It might seem silly to do this with another adult but it’s great fun to do with your kids and will give both of you some good practice.
Children will ask difficult questions. Children are naturally curious and will ask if they don’t understand something. Finding answers to the tricky questions your children ask you about the English language will stretch your own knowledge and help you see the language in a different way.
You can invent new games. Playing with flashcards and images is a really good way to remember new vocabulary. Adults often rely too heavily on text and don’t use images. Practising with your kids will help you learn in a more visual way and rely less on translating.
Kids love singing. Singing is a useful way to practise pronunciation and is a fun way to spend time with your kids. Try finding some English songs you both love and sing them together. It’s something you probably wouldn’t try with adult classmates.
The most important thing about learning English with your kids, however, is simply spending quality time with them. We all lead such busy lives that having a good reason to get together and communicate with your kids is a really valuable thing.
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