Let’s shatter a myth that exists about language learning today . I’ve often heard people say that children are superior language learners as their minds are sharp and they seem to absorb whatever their environment has to offer. This is completely true, but, there are some advantages that adults have over children. Here are 3 Reasons Why Adults are Better at Learning English, or any language for that matter:
- Adults already know how to learn
Being an adult, we have completed our schooling, probably done our graduation too, so, we know how to study/learn. We know which method works best for us. For instance, listening to music while doing homework increased my productivity when I was in school.
Also, we have complete freedom to choose the medium through which we want to learn and plan how we learn as well. We can set short term as well as long term goals, work towards that goal and reprimand ourselves if need be.
Children do not have this freedom. They definitely have the ability to learn, but they are dependent on their parents when it comes to how they learn. The technique the parents decide for the child may not be suited for him/her and hence it may become difficult for the child to cope with the pressure and stress. This would, in turn, affect his learning.
- Adults already know one language
Children do not know any language well when the begin learning. So basically they have to work hard to learn thousands of words to form their vocabulary and other concepts of grammar. They have to start from the very basics, whereas, adults already know at least one language and so they know how to go about learning another one. They can use native resources to learn a second language.
They also have access to resources – children don’t. If a child wants to learn English he can refer to books only in English, but adults can refer to material in their native language and then translate it to English. This makes the process a whole lot easier!
- Adults can read
This is the most obvious yet undervalued reason. Toddlers cannot read, they have to spend hours mugging up words and writing alphabets. They struggle to form sentences or read what is written- so books are, in a way, useless to them. The only way they are able to learn is by repetition.
Adults can use books, websites, magazines and blogs to learn English. They have the ability to understand the logic behind certain rules instead of mugging up. For this, they have access to resource material, which they can read for explanation. They can pick up a pen and paper and practice too – so there!
This blog is for all those who feel that they cannot learn a new English now that they have grown up. Don’t beat yourself up, celebrate that you are an adult as you have the freedom to learn your way!