We recently talked about the most important skill of English. Of course your goal is fluency. Listening English is only one way to get fluency. But, what kind of listening we should do? We gave a few of useful advices for listening English. Read our previus article and learn them.
We also talked about listening English in Effortless English rule number 3. In this rule’s video, A.J. Hoge says Learn With Your Ears, Not With Your Eyes. Today we are going to look at children. How they learn to speak the language. Of course children don’t study grammar rules and vocabulary lists. They learn to speak fluently and automatically only by listening. Read below article about a research by Dr. J. Marvin Brown.
In 1984 the American University Language Center in Bangkok started using a new approach to teach, the Thai language. The method is called, ‘The Listening Approach’. In more recent years it’s become known, as ‘Automatic Language Growth’.
The method says that, any attempt to speak (or even think about language) before automatic speaking comes, will cause damage and limit final results. In other words the method uses a very long “silent period”.
During the “silent period” students focus only on listening. After 6 – 12 months of intensive listening students begin to speak spontaneously and naturally, without effort and without thinking!
1 – THE CHILD’S SECRET
Everyone knows that, when people move to a new country the children will eventually speak the language natively, and the adults won’t. The normal explanation is that children have a special ‘talent’ that, they lose as they grow up.
Teachers said that, for adults languages should be taught and studied, instead of learned naturally.
But are we any beter, with present language teaching? Why? for example do adults in Central Africa do better when they move to a new language community than our modern students do? Could it be that, early teachers were mistaken? Maybe adults can do what children do, Maybe it’s just adult behavior (not lack of talent) that, prevents them from succeeding.
THE MISTAKE – Children can do something that adults cannot.
THE UNASKED QUESTION – What would happen if an adult were to just listen for a year without speaking?
OUR ANSWER – Both adults and children can do it right, but only adults can do it wrong.
Imagine a 4 year-old child and an adult, reacting to somebody talking to them in a foreign language. The child most often just listens while the adult usually tries to talk back,,
Now imagine that, ‘not trying to speak’ was the child’s secret. It makes sense that listening to things, that are always right would build the language right while saying things that are always wrong would build it wrong.
What would happen, if adults were to do the same thing children do (that is, just listen for a year without trying to say anything).
In 1984, the AUA language center in Bangkok started doing exactly this in its Thai classes. The students just listened for as much as a year without speaking at all. We found that adults get almost the same results that children do. If adults understand natural talk, in real situations, without trying to say anything, for a whole year, then fluent speaking with clear pronunciation will come automatically.
It seems that the difference between adults and children is not that adults have lost the ability to do it right– but that children haven’t yet gained the ability to do it wrong (that is, to destroy it with forced speaking).
Forced speaking damages adults. Consciously thinking of one’s sentences – with translations, rules, substitutions, or any other kind of thinking prevents you from speaking like a native.
Natural speaking (speaking that comes automatically) won’t cause damage (not even when it’s wrong). The damage doesn’t come from being wrong; it comes from thinking about the language.
What we’re suggesting is this. The reason that children always end up as native speakers is because they learn to speak by listening. And the reason that adults don’t is because they learn to speak by speaking. Adults talk too much.
The formula is this: ‘Listen’, ‘Don’t speak’, and ‘Be patient’. And now it appears that this is not only the child’s secret. It’s everybody’s secret. And while children do it more faithfully, adults can do it faster.
2 – HOW ALG WORKS
Most language teachers are constantly telling their students to try to speak as much as they can, and to think carefully before they say anything, so they’ll get it right. And now I’m saying that this kind of speaking and thinking is the exact thing that prevents adults from learning languages well.
3 – PUTTING ALG IN THE CLASSROOM
We look at children who have moved to a new country, and we see them ‘listen, laugh, and stare’. The child’s secret; ears open, mouths shut, no tests. They become near-native within two years.
Then we look into language classrooms around the world, and we see just the opposite; ears practically closed (the students use their eyes instead), mouths open, and a lot of tests. Very few of these students become near-native. Two things are needed for modern students.
First, they need experiences in the language that are so interesting (fun, exciting, suspenseful, etc.), that the students forget that a new language is being used.
And second, the students understanding must be high enough to learn – and this means 80-100% from the very first day!
It takes a lot of work to train teachers to be both interesting and understandable. But it is the secret to success! Interesting and understandable listening, and a long “silent period”, is the key to speaking like a native.
How to learn English fast? In this lesson you will find the answer and you will practice your English listening. You can download mp3 lesson (Learn English Super Fast mp3) and listen it several times each day for one week. Also, you will find text of the lesson below so you can read it while you are listening. After Right click below download link and select save as.
Learn English by focusing on content, not grammar. What do I mean by content? I mean, learn English by focusing on meaningful communication and meaningful information.
Most schools, and most students, focus on the mechanics of the language. They study verb conjugations. They study the “rules” of prepositions. They analyze the language as if it was a dead thing.
All of these traditional methods are analytical.
But English is not a dead thing to analyze- it is a living language. It is a means of communication.
Your brain is naturally fantastic at learning languages. Your brain is created to learn languages. But you must learn in ways that are friendly to your brain.
If you bore your brain with rules, you will learn slowly. If you try to analyze the language, you will learn slowly. If you try to memorize vocabulary, you will learn slowly. If you study textbooks and take tests, you will learn slowly.
Your brain is a super-fast English learning machine– use it correctly and you will learn super-fast!
Here’s how to make your brain happy and learn English fast:
- Learn with stories. Our brains love stories– its the oldest, most natural form of communication.
- Focus on meaning, not form. In other words, don’t worry about grammar rules. Focus instead on understanding and being understood.
- Listen to the music of English carefully. To improve pronunciation, listen very carefully to the intonation of English speakers– pretend you are listening to music.
- Choose content you love. Only listen to and read English content that is interesting, meaningful, or funny to you. If you don’t enjoy it– find something else!
- Read easy novels, not textbooks. Again, the brain loves stories and hates boring drills. Burn your textbooks… read easy, fun, interesting English novels instead. Read a lot of them!
- Make friends, join a community. English is for communication– so communicate with other English speakers! Forget about mistakes. Forget about grammar. Just relax and communicate!
By smiling, having fun, and focusing on meaningful content, you will make your brain happy. And a happy brain learns very fast.
Use these brain friendly strategies to increase your English speaking improvement 2-4 times faster.
Enjoy and speak excellent English!
Learning English grammar with Listen & Answer Mini Stories
How to learn English grammar without studying any grammar rules. Listen & Answer mini stories are designed to teach you grammar in an intuitive, natural way. You learn grammar the same way American children learn it– by understanding the structure of the language.
Most native speakers do not know grammar rules. Ask an American, “what is the past perfect tense” and most will not know. But, of course, they use the past perfect tense correctly every day.
In fact, they use English grammar effortlessly. They don’t think about it. Rather, native speakers have a “feeling for correctness”. They know what “sounds right” and they know what “sounds wrong”.
Can a non-native English learner develop these same skills? Yes. Definitely. But you’ll never develop the natural ability to use grammar effortlessly if you try to learn by memorizing and thinking.
Learn English Effortlessly
In many ways, becoming effortless with English grammar is a zen-like experience. You can’t do it directly through studying grammar rules.
Listen & Answer stories, on the other hand, imitate the natural way children learn. Your job as the student is very easy- simply listen to the story and answer the super-easy questions.
In fact, I make the questions super-easy for a reason. If the questions were difficult, you would start to THINK. You would probably try to translate. I don’t want that. I want you to answer instantly and automatically– without any kind of translation.
Another thing I do in the stories is repeat these easy questions in many different ways. I do this to get the grammar structures deep into your brain. You don’t realize it, but as you answer all these easy questions, you are actually learning English grammar.
This kind of learning is useful and practical. You can learn English online with these stories- just download them and put them on your iPod.
Over time, you will use grammar correctly as you speak. You’ll use the correct grammar but you won’t think about rules at all.
The more you listen to the Listen & Answer Stories, the more deeply you learn the grammar, and the more automatically you will use it. That’s why I tell students to listen to only one Lesson Set per week. I want you to be a master of English grammar.
One final benefit of learning in this way– its a lot more fun. You’ll actually smile and laugh while you learn English grammar. Does that happen when you study textbooks?
Learning English Articles:
- The Key To Speaking English
- English Learning Tips
- Get Speaking Fluency and Beyond
- Improve Reading And Vocabulary
- Learn To Speak English e-book download