British Council plants and nurtures the seeds of English at an early age

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Young children are natural language acquirers; they are self-motivated to pick up language without conscious learning, unlike adolescents and adults. They have the ability to imitate pronunciation and work out the rules for themselves. Any idea that learning to talk in English is difficult does not occur to them unless it’s suggested by adults, who themselves probably learned English academically at a later age through grammar-based text books.

The advantages of beginning early
•Young children are still using their individual, innate language-learning strategies to acquire their home language and soon find they can also use these strategies to pick up English.

•Young children have time to learn through play-like activities. They pick up language by taking part in an activity shared with an adult. They firstly make sense of the activity and then get meaning from the adult’s shared language.

•Young children have more time to fit English into the daily programme. School programmes tend to be informal and children’s minds are not yet cluttered with facts to be stored and tested. They may have little or no homework and are less stressed by having to achieve set standards.

•Children who have the opportunity to pick up a second language while they are still young appear to use the same innate language-learning strategies throughout life when learning other languages. Picking up third, fourth, or even more languages is easier than picking up a second.

•Young children who acquire language rather than consciously learn it, as older children and adults have to, are more likely to have better pronunciation and feel for the language and culture. When monolingual children reach puberty and become more self-conscious, their ability to pick up language diminishes and they feel they have to consciously study English through grammar-based programmes. The age at which this change occurs depends greatly on the individual child’s developmental levels as well as the expectations of their society.

Being confident in English can give your child an early advantage at school and give them a great head start in making the most of the education, qualification and career opportunities that lie in front of them.

At British Council we have specifically designed our courses around the unique way children learn and are taught by experienced teachers who are passionate about the English language and experts in teaching children. All delivered in a safe and secure environment.

And by encouraging children to talk, play and interact with each other in a natural and enjoyable way, we help them practise their speaking, listening, reading and writing without feeling they’re being taught.

All supported by the world’s most comprehensive collection of online learning resources for children.

British Council was established in Kuwait in 1955 and has strengthened the ties and relations between the UK and Kuwait ever since. Sixty two years of examinations delivery has allowed thousands of Kuwaiti and expatriate students to reach their goals in education and move towards inspiring career and study opportunities. Through their work, the British Council has touched the lives of many young people and has provided opportunities to grow and build connections.

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