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How to effectively learn a new language?

Source: Dan tri 

We all have high expectations for our children to succeed and take control of their own futures. That's why their education, including language learning, is of utmost importance. However, parents often find themselves grappling with the question of how to effectively teach their children a new language

Below is the story of journalist and writer Hoang Anh Tu and his experience with his children learning a foreign language.

During my many years in education, I have learned from numerous parents that their children are reluctant to study, to the extent that they need to be threatened to sit at the table. Without parents' reminders, their academic performance immediately declines. Consequently, parents began searching for a language center with native teachers and dedicated time to practice with their children every night, believing that tutoring would help them minimize their mistakes.

The story above reveals some misunderstandings parents have when sending their children to learn a foreign language: solely focusing on results, fearing mistakes, not exploring different learning methods, and assuming that only native teachers are effective.

Parents may overlook the fact that learning English is a lifelong journey. If one truly loves it, they will continue learning throughout their lives. By emphasizing the process, the desired results will follow.

Moreover, the future world will demand more cross-cultural exposure. Both native and non-native teachers have their advantages, and the key factor is the quality of the teachers.

We often tend to believe that making mistakes is undesirable, but children need to make mistakes in order to experiment with new languages and learn from them to improve.

Returning to the case of parents whose children only learn when threatened, I realize that the problem lies in their expectation for their children to conform to their wishes. However, do we want our children to be mere replicas of ourselves or independent individuals? Do we expect them to unquestioningly obey their bosses or spouses and live a life dictated by others? Will that truly bring us happiness?

In my opinion, a good curriculum should answer the following questions:

- Does the program have a variety of experiences?

- Do teachers have access to technology to personalize and provide timely support to students?

- Does the program ignite a love of learning and create conditions for children to learn anytime, anywhere?

- Does the program guarantee student outcomes?

I am not the only one who holds these criteria. As new educational trends are being embraced by numerous organizations, my expectations have been met. These educational philosophies are not limited to developed countries; they have also been implemented by leading organizations in Vietnam, seeking better learning methods.

Below is an example from my child's experience at an English center that has been operating for almost 30 years, where she participates in the Apollo Active program. She has the opportunity to immerse herself in a learning ecosystem that encompasses a variety of experiences, both offline and online, and promotes active learning.

This diversity is also reflected in the teachers, who come from different nationalities. My daughter has different teachers for online and offline classes. This not only makes learning more enjoyable but also establishes a foundation of confidence through cultural diversity for children.

The world is becoming more interconnected, and English communication is increasingly prevalent. Thanks to a flexible approach, children are constantly exposed to English, allowing them to learn whenever and wherever they desire.

English is a lifelong learning journey. With a love of learning, children will continue to learn for the rest of their life (Photo: Apollo)

To create a personalized learning experience, the organization utilizes technology to track and measure student engagement in both online and active learning environments. Detailed and real-time data, such as individual talking time, frequency of student participation, and accuracy of answers in each activity, is stored and analyzed.

These reports provide valuable insights into my child's level of engagement during lessons. Teachers can identify the specific support needed by students, as well as their interests and passions, in order to encourage and motivate them. It allows me to easily monitor my child's level of activity in her learning process, enabling timely reminders and a better understanding of her as an individual.

Accompanying your child on this journey is an exciting experience. It also provides an opportunity for your child to be actively involved and motivated at the right time. Sometimes, we tend to focus on what hasn't been accomplished, overlooking the effort our children have already put into something. Allowing your child to be active doesn't mean "letting go" but rather refraining from interfering in their decision-making process.

Indeed, after participating in this active learning environment, my daughter has made significant progress in her listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. I no longer have to constantly remind her to study. She has taken the initiative to organize her own learning activities, demonstrating a sense of responsibility and self-motivation.

There is nothing wrong with expecting our children to improve. However, being a parent is a lifelong commitment. For the sake of our children, we must not rush the process, as it is the pressure and high expectations from parents that often make children afraid of learning. Let us help our children transform learning into a joyful and exciting discovery.


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