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Learning Languages

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Why do children learn languages so quickly and easily? Unlike adults, kids don't usually need so much formal study to learn a language.

A person's native language gets in the way of learning another language. Babies usually hear their parents use only one language. Baby brains ignore other sounds that don't fit the patterns of sounds they most often hear. In fact, even at eleven months, the ability to hear new and different sounds of another language becomes more difficult.

Children need to experience a foreign language as early as possible. If the parents speak a second language, they should speak it at home. However, researchers have learned that TV and CDs alone don't work for language learning. Babies need interaction. If the parents only speak one language, then play groups, lessons, and other opportunities are necessary.


Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. Some people learn languages very easily. Why do you think so?

Vocabulary: Check the new vocabulary in a dictionary. Then match the words.

  1. formal
  2. ignore
  3. interaction
  4. opportunity
  • don't pay attention to
  • communication
  • chance
  • official

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. What are your experiences for learning a foreign language? Please explain.
  2. Do you wish that you had learned English as a baby? Why/not?
  3. Why do you currently study English? Please explain.

Download the lesson:

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