During my years as a primary school teacher I worked with children from many different cultures and language backgrounds. Amazingly, there were children who came into school with very little or no English at the beginning of the year, and who would leave naturally speaking and engaging in English by the end of the year. Yet, there were always kids for whom new language acquisition was more of a challenge. What was it that made language learning easier to pick up for some kids and not others?

While many factors (including the challenge of transitioning to a new country, social skills, and learning disabilities) can all be part of the equation, I saw a notable difference in literacy growth and ability among kids (both language learners and native speakers) who had greater daily exposure to English language based activities outside of school, via extracurricular pastimes, community events, family reading modeling and support at home, and kids who didn’t have this luxury. All English as an Additional Language students learned in the same language-rich, play-based program offered at school, but those for whom language development was encouraged in multiple authentic settings, tended to grasp language and literacy with markedly greater ease. Creative repetition, exposure and practice really is the key!

So how is this connected to natural language learning?

Natural language learning focuses on communication skills and language exposure to develop an intuitive sense of language prior to a more in depth study of its rules and structures. It is also holistic by nature, meaning it affects the intellectual, mental, emotional, physical and creative aspects of an individual. Acquiring language naturally is how you learned your first language. 

In fact, you, as a parent, can greatly influence your child’s natural English language development by encouraging your child to:

  • LISTEN to and sing along to kid friendly songs that are fun and build vocabulary.
  • WATCH cartoons and movies in English.
  • READ together! Children’s libraries will give you access to a multitude of books for free, or you can sign up for a digital book membership.
  • SPEAK: Connect with the other families who speak English, and arrange playdates for your kids. 
  • MAKE things (through arts & crafts, Leggo, building blocks, or even cooking/baking) and have your kids use English to describe their creations. 

Natural learning encourages the use of multiple intelligences and enables learners to blossom in a holistic way.

If you’d like to learn more about natural learning and how I infuse it into a strategically structured and developmentally appropriate program for kids, please contact me to set up a free discovery call! Together, we will see which course best suits your child’s needs and empower your kid with a positive and meaningful approach to learning English.