Isn't it amazing how infants pick up language so naturally? And what if we could “relearn" some of those techniques to make our own learning effortless and fun? This article shows you how.
Studies suggest that young children of bilingual parents pick up both languages much faster than adults. Children also pick up authentic foreign accents better than adults.
As part of my background research into a book about language learning, I've tried to identify the factors which help us tap into our own innate “baby genius" for learning language. Here are some ideas for you to apply: "Infant listening". Babies and young kids pick up new words and sounds with an open mind. They listen for the sake of listening. Tip: listen to foreign words without worry. Notice their unique sounds and structure. "Infant association". Babies/toddlers associate words with objects or feelings. For example the word “daddy" has certain emotions and feelings, and “ice cream" or “bath time" have different ones. Tip: learn foreign words in a way that combines feeling and emotion. Associate words quickly to memorize them. "Infant sensing". Infants combine senses to learn. They may listen, draw, sing, talk, signal, paint and begin to write in the language. Tip: harness all your senses, because memory science says we remember more that way. "Baby talk". Babies start using language before understanding its structure. Young toddlers are ruthless in using the few words they know to get their way. Tip: express yourself in the language before you bury yourself in grammar. "Kids’ play". Kids learn through play and by having fun. That is why it looks so effortless. Tip: put the fun back into language learning. Our website and many others can help you with this.
Maybe the biggest lesson from babies and infants is to take risks in learning a language. Kids dare to speak without fear of making mistakes, so they learn faster.
They also make it instinctive and fun, as language learning should be!
The author is writing a book on language learning and also runs a website on this topic. Please log on to http://getfluentfast.com for further tips, publications and features on accelerated language learning.