To Learn English

By: Mely

This is me telling my story on how I learned English.

 

In our family we decided to homeschool our kids. We have many reasons for doing so, one of them is freedom to be able to choose what we teach to them and when. How to teach them Spanish was a subject that for a while was an issue.  All my family lives in Mexico and most of them do not speak English, so it’s not easy for them to communicate with the boys who only speak English.  Now that the boys have started their homeschooling lessons with an organized system, we can start teaching them a second language.  However, in the same way my kids need to know Spanish to be able to communicate with half their family, it is also important that kids in Spanish speaking countries learn to speak English. Kids don’t need a private school; it can be learned at home.  Furthermore, how many Hispanic adults live in the US and cannot communicate because they haven’t learned English?  These days, learning English is a necessity.

 

Methods

 

rosetta stone englishThere are many methods and systems to learn English.  Among the most popular ones are Ingles sin barreras, Muzzy (from the BBC) and Rosetta Stone.  We have been successfully using Rosetta Stone.  The program is easy and comprehensive, because it teaches you to speak and understand the language in the same way little kids learn to speak.  It relates the words with pictures and actions, which allows you to more easily learn vocabulary.  The focus of the program is to help the student understand the language and to be able to communicate without the need to translate.  The program Muzzy is specially designed for kids and teaches languages with cartoons and fun activities.  Both Rossetta Stone and Muzzy are equally effective programs.  I don’t know about Ingles sin Barreras as I’ve never used it.

 

Practice

 

They say practice makes perfect.  It doesn’t matter how long you spend reading books and “learning” a language in school because unless you actually put it into practice, you will never really learn.  You have to speak, listen, and write frequently to get better.   If you live in a Spanish speaking country, then you can practice listening to it in movies and music. Today all movies on DVD offer the possibility to view them in different languages and English is always one of the first choices.  Listening to music in English is also a good idea.  And never forget the Internet; most of it is in English.  Finding someone to chat with on the Internet shouldn’t be a problem these days.  If you live in an English speaking country, then all you have to do is go out to the street and talk to the first person you see (they probably won’t bite).  The Hispanic kids living the US have a great advantage.  They can learn and practice their English with their friends at school.  In fact, English becomes a first language rather than an auxiliary one.

 

Opportunities

 

talking.studentsDoors open when you know English.  It’s indispensable for business and technology.  And you’re lucky because it’s so easy to learn (yes, despite what people say, it is easy).  In fact, one reason it’s so popular is because it’s so easy.  The mannerisms and the sentence composition provide lots of possibilities to express ourselves.  Conjugations are also easy.  Kids’ brains are like sponges, ready to absorb anything.  However, just because kids have spongy minds doesn’t mean we adults can’t learn.  Old dogs do learn new tricks too.  If you live in a country where English is the official or dominant language, you know you need to learn it.  There’s no sense in putting it off unless you just like torturing yourself.

 

It is true that most schools these days (in Spanish speaking countries) teach English as a second language.  But not many schools teach it from early childhood.  If you have the chance to teach your kids at home, the sooner you can start the better.   As a matter of fact, it is something you can learn together. There are many different programs you can use to learn English; it’s just a matter of choosing the one you feel most comfortable with.  I came to the US when I was 23 years old, and even though I had “studied” English in school (from elementary all the way through college), I couldn’t speak it.  It wasn’t until I moved here that I truly learned and started speaking the language.  Remember, you must practice what you learn, or you will forget it.  Movies and music are excellent ways to practice and, of course, there’s the Internet.  Learning a second language is easier when you’re a kid, but that doesn’t mean adults can’t do it.  When you really want to learn nothing is impossible.

 

16 Responses to “To Learn English”
  1. J Cruikshank August 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm #

    This can cut both ways. Next I’ll have to guest write about “How I learned Spanish” :-)

  2. Dafne August 23, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    Muy cierto lo que cometas, “la parctica hace al maestro” y pues si desgraciadamente en el sistema educativo que llevamos en nuestras escuelas son muy poco efectivos y los que realmente son efectivos pues son muy caros!! pero bueno existen metodos muy buenos como el ultimo que mencionas y pues hasta Mia tb lo escucha!

    • Mely August 30, 2009 at 1:46 am #

      Así es manita. Pero qué bueno que ustedes en la casa estén aprovechando el programa porque así todos se benefician.

  3. Monica August 29, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Mely, qué bueno saber que eres Mexicana y educas en casa. A mi hijo le encantan los idiomas pero no hemos practicado ningún método porque en realidad ha tenido bastante contacto con otras lenguas en forma natural.

    Yo creo que lo más importante es exponer a los niños a otros sonidos y otras culturas. Luego ellos se van interesando, preguntando, relacionando y de pronto nos sorprenden con lo que han aprendido.
    .-= Monica´s last blog ..Bebida Post Parto =-.

    • Mely August 30, 2009 at 1:44 am #

      Hola Mónica, mil gracias por tu comentario. Yo estoy de acuerdo contigo, si expones a tus hijos a diferentes idiomas y culturas, ellos van a aprender a apreciarles por lo que son, y ellos mismos van a querer aprender más. A mí me gustaría que mis hijos tuvieran más contacto con mi familia en México, pero no viajamos muy seguido. Tal vez cuando sean más grandes podamos mandarlos a pasar unas vacacione por allá. Hay muchas cosas que todavía tienen que aprender, empezando por el idioma… :)

  4. Adolfo September 17, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    Les escribo para recomendarles otro sitio muy bueno para aprender inglés, quizás merezca alguna crítica en este blog:
    ShertonEnglish
    Es un sitio gratuito para aprender inglés. Incluye un curso online, con más de 700 lecciones, organizado en un plan de 52 semanas. Además, posee cientos de páginas de gramática con explicaciones y ejemplos traducidos al español.
    Los estudiantes podrán encontrar profesores de inglés en su ciudad que enseñan con este método puesto que también tiene una red social para hacer amistades y compartir experiencias. El link de la red social es:
    ShertonEnglish.

    • Keith September 18, 2009 at 12:45 am #

      Gracias por tu visita y tu comentario. Chequé la página que recomendaste y se ve muy buena.

  5. Eric October 13, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    Hola, me ha gustado mucho tu post. Yo también estoy enseñándole inglés a mis hijos. Para enseñarles inglés a los niños te puede ir bien Lp-Method, donde hay ejercicios de inglés para niños y adultos. El Método-Lp se basa en una metodología para practicar inglés online que hace de aprender algo divertido.

    te la recomiendo! saludos, Eric

    • Mely October 13, 2009 at 11:54 am #

      Hola Eric, gracias por tu comentario. Gracias por la recomendación, voy a checar el método que mencionas. Es bueno tener varias opciones, especialmente cuando les estas ensenando a tus niños.

      Saludo!

  6. Eric October 13, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    Perfecto! Ya me dirás qué te parece!
    Sindico tu blog y estos comentarios para seguirte
    Saludos Mely! I

  7. SerGuitar August 5, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Mira con lo que me encuentro justo aqui, jeje, muy buen post, amo el ingles pero lastima que lo domino de una forma horrenda, gracias por los videos, muy buenos,

    Saludos!
    .-= SerGuitar´s last blog ..Splice- Experimento Mortal =-.

    • Mely August 7, 2010 at 11:30 am #

      Hola Sergio, gracias por comentar y tu visita. Que bueno que te haya gustado el articulo. Un saludo.

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