Are you wondering what is the best time to learn English for teenagers? Read on as we have compiled proven and tested tips!
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted a study that found that children retain the skill of learning grammar of foreign languages up to the age of 17 to 18. It is the time when many students typically graduate high school. These results provide new evidence for the decades-long discussion over the “critical period” that had focused on whether the decline in learning a language begins at the age of 5 or the onset of puberty.
On the other hand, the said study also discovered that it is hard for people to achieve a proficiency comparable to a native speaker unless they start learning a language at around the age of 10. Students who start learning a language between 10 to 18 years old will still learn that language quickly. However, since they have a shorter timeframe before their learning ability declines, there is less of a chance that they will reach the proficiency of a native speaker according to researchers.
The Best Time To Learn English
Learning English is an important skill that continues to be relevant, especially to this day. As a language spoken in major parts of the world, it’s no exaggeration to say that knowing how to speak, read and write in English becomes a gateway to more opportunities at home and abroad. Many articles and research encourage one should start learning English at an early age. Perhaps, you may be wondering what is the best time to learn English for teenagers? In this article, we’ll shed light on this question, as well as some reasons why you should learn English.
So “What is the best time to learn English?” We’ll tackle this question by sharing our research findings as well as giving our opinion about the matter.
We have stressed above what the scientific community has to say. Notably, past studies and research have convinced the scientific community that there is a “critical period” when learning a language. However, new findings reveal that the time frame for language learning extends for much longer than we once thought.
The Importance of Learning English Now
Long-Term And Short-Term Memory
In theory, there are two ways to retain information: In short-term and in long-term storage. The transfer of information from one storage to another happens when we convince our brains that the information we are learning in the short-term memory is important enough to be placed in long-term storage. Otherwise, the information is deleted and forgotten.
Since it is used in our everyday lives, our native language is stored in long-term memory storage. However, new information about a secondary language is stored in the short-term storage until it is transferred to the long-term memory.
To understand new knowledge quickly, we tend to translate that info into our native language. However, this process makes it more difficult for our brain to accept the new info and place it in the long-term memory. It is why there is a tendency to forget the information about the secondary language.
By learning English, students wouldn’t need to translate as much. If they get used to speaking English, they will be capable of storing information more quickly and for a longer time. When learning English or any other secondary language, the phrase “use it or lose it” applies. So practicing your English regularly helps you gain a greater command of the language.
Language Fitness & Agility
Learning a language and maintaining your knowledge of it uses an astonishing number of muscles, most prominently, the brain and the more apparent muscles in the jaws and mouth.
That said, it stands to reason that just like with any muscle, exercising it more often allows you to use it more easily.
So with that in mind, when is the best time to learn English for teenagers? The short answer is as often as possible, as much as possible. If your only opportunity is in your school English class, then you need to maximize that time to speak English as much as possible to exercise those muscles.
Learning English Helps Us Become More Authentic
We express ourselves by speaking in whatever language we use. Thus, the most motivating reason to learn a language is that it enables us to express ourselves in more ways and avenues. At the same time, it allows us to talk in a way that is authentic to our personality.
Being Knowledgeable in English Can Open New Job Opportunities
Science, tourism, diplomacy, aviation, and computers all use English as their main language. If you know how to read, speak, and write in English, you have better chances of landing a job in a multinational company both in your home country or abroad.
You Can Meet New People If You Learn English.
53 countries have listed English as their official language. Thus, it is often used as a lingua franca (mutually known language) by people globally. Whether you are working somewhere in Beijing or traveling in the Philippines, studying English can help you communicate with people from around the world.
Scientific Papers are Commonly Written in English
Over the last 100 years, the amount of scientific papers written in English has begun to outweigh the number of papers written in the researcher’s native language. For instance, research papers in the Netherlands have shown an astounding 40 to 1 ratio. For this reason, when you are curious about when is the best time to learn English for teenagers, the answer is now. This is especially true if you are planning to work in the scientific field both in your home country or abroad.
Most Internet Users Use English.
When is the best time to learn English for teenagers? You’d probably want to learn it as soon as possible, especially if the Internet is a big part of your life. With more than half the content on the Internet written in the English language, learning English will grant you access to more content! If you’re hoping to pursue a career in tech one day, English is also important since some of the world’s most prominent tech companies are located in English-speaking countries.
A Good Knowledge of English Can Make Traveling a Lot Easier.
Imagine you are a tourist on holiday in Spain. While your hotel receptionist might not be able to answer your questions and inquiries in your native language, they’re more like to answer your question in English. And as mentioned earlier, knowing how to speak English may allow you to communicate with the locals even if you aren’t familiar with their native language.
When It Comes to Business, English is One Of The Most Important Languages.
English is an incredibly important language in the business world since it is the de facto language of the United States. It is also the official language of countries like Canada, South Africa, India, and the UK. So whether you are a student, a business owner, or an employee, you must be knowledgeable in English.
Being Knowledgeable In English Grants You Global Learning Opportunities
With English being spoken in many different countries, it’s no surprise that thousands of schools, colleges, and universities offer programs in English. If you’ve managed to learn good academic English, you have plenty of opportunities to find a school abroad that suits your needs and preferences.
English gives you access to multiple cultures
When you have a good grasp of the English language, you’ll have access to literature, music, and films from hundreds of countries worldwide. Not to mention that numerous books and publications from across the world are translated into English. Learning about the habits, values, and way of life in a culture different from what you know can help you unlock new knowledge. It can also enrich your experiences while helping you grow as a person.
Top Five Tips For Learning English Quickly For Teenagers
1. Practice As Much As Possible, As Often As Possible
Unfortunately, there is no instant way to learn English. Instead, you’ll have to work on building your English skills a lot.
For starters, if you have an English class, it’s important that you attend it. Study as much as you can, and do your homework diligently. Courses are ideal for learning English because they have a specific curriculum optimized for learning English and hold you more accountable and push you to learn simultaneously. If you aren’t taking a class, however, you still have the option of working on your English skills during your free time.
Thanks to the countless resources on the Internet, it’s easier and more convenient than ever to practice your English skills whether you’re at home or on the go.
Even if you prefer to study by yourself, numerous resources and tips are available for you on the web. On the other hand, if you prefer more structure in your lessons, there are some free online English courses to choose from, either as a supplement to another program or as your main English course.
2. Practing More Means Getting Better And Learning Quicker.
According to author Malcolm Gladwell, you need to practice for 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.
Sounds like a lot of hours, right? That’s because it is a lot! So it would be best if you started working on your hours as soon as possible.
If you wish to work on your grammar, the best place to start is to search for common mistakes to see if you’re making them or look for some solid tips regarding general grammar learning.
Meanwhile, if you’re having difficulties with your listening skills, search for a general overview of online listening resources. Afterward, move on to listening to audiobooks or podcasts. If you prefer to include some visual stimulation, consider watching TV shows and movies in English which will help you work on your listening comprehension. By making English a daily part of your life, you’ll be able to improve your listening comprehension better.
Practicing your reading skills is also easy, especially if you integrate them into your entertainment. You can either search for an easy book or look for books that have been turned into movies. Heck, you’re practicing your reading skills while reading this blog!
On the other hand, practicing your pronunciation and speaking can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a native speaker to talk with. Still, it’s not impossible to improve them. The first thing you should look into is general speaking practice strategies. These strategies can be used even if you don’t have someone to practice with. Afterward, you can find out more info about websites that offer opportunities to speak online. You can also read some posts about enhancing your pronunciation while you’re at it.
3. Determine Your Motivation For Learning
Your English learning journey is similar to any goal. It becomes much easier to accomplish a task if you have the motivation to do so. Focusing on your motivation for learning English will help you get through those times when it seems too hard to do so.
For instance, maybe your reason for learning English is to land a dream job abroad or attend college in another country? You may also be learning English in preparation for a vacation. Whatever your motivation may be, it’s important always to keep your motivation in mind.
It’s even more helpful if you have more than one motivation to pursue English knowledge. Of course, you also should be aware that your motivations may change or adapt over time.
4. Work hard and play hard
The tips we have provided may have given you a clue for this next tip. Learning English is easier and way more exciting if you find a way to make it fun. For example, you can mix things up a little by making a game out of the activity. You can play a game to learn English or find other ways to include a gaming element during your English lessons.
5. Get Lots Of Input Today To Have Better Output Tomorrow.
If you’ve taken an English class before, you’ve noticed that there’s a period when you tend to read and listen a lot. This period happens before you are asked to do writing or speaking exercise. That process is the natural way of learning new knowledge. Before you can start doing a task, you have to see and understand how to do it in the first place.
The idiom “Don’t put the cart before the horse.” applies to this situation. This translates to having to do things in the right order. Getting as much input as possible is important. Don’t stress about the output before anything else – at least not before knowing more information.
One of the best ways to see how this is done is listening and learning from online native speakers. This method may save you a lot of time when you discover that what you learned from your English may not be as common in practice as you once thought. For instance, some native English speakers would mix up their vocabulary when thanking someone. Thus, it’s important to not just rely on one source but look for more sources for your English learning.