Kids should learn English when young | Estella Tong – Grade 8

Adult learning Learning English as an adult can be very difficult, and almost impossible to master. Start learning languages as young as possible.
  • More and more people are sending their kids westward
  • English teachers in both private and public schools are sometimes not native speakers
  • The “grammar formula” can be hard to understand

English has played an important role in world history. Since the Qing dynasty, Chinese people have sent kids to study in the West. Even now, more and more people are sending their kids westward, hoping to give them a better education. However, even if everyone knows that English is the international language of education and business, learning English when they’re young is still not popular enough and it can cost a lot of money.

More and more people, especially businessmen and women, are starting to realize the importance of English in Taiwan these past years. “Learning English” is one of the most popular search terms on Google in Taiwan. People believe that by subscribing to some English learning websites or finding a tutor can help improve their English faster. Though it works for some people, for most people it can take up lot of time and is just a waste of money.

Parents these days are starting to show a lot of concern for their kids’ learning environment beginning as young as preschool to make learning english easier when kids are older. They believe that sending their kids to an all-English kindergarten and after school classes from the time they’re young will make it easier for them to master English when they’re older. They are correct, but if they don’t filter the after school classes, you can get the same results as learning English in ordinary schools.

I strongly suggest parents to send their kids to good and quality all English environments as early as possible. Here are some reasons why kids should have a good English foundation before going to elementary school:

1. Most English teachers aren’t native speakers

English teachers in both public and private schools are not native speakers which can be a problem because sometimes they might teach students incorrect pronunciations. Do not expect school teachers to pronounce words natively. School teachers might have studied in the west for a few years before becoming a teacher, but never expect them to speak like a native speaker. People might also think teachers in private schools might be more professional, but it depends. Some public schools can teach better than private school teachers. Also, the material private schools use are the same as public schools, the only difference is that the progress is faster.

2. Schools never teach English in a native way

Usually, international schools or American (European) schools in Taiwan teach students English in a native way. However, to include kids that have poor English skills, ordinary schools will teach everyone using similar methods to memorize grammar, which is called the “grammar formula”. It’s really stiff and hard to understand sometimes. Thus, students that use this technique can be confused very often. If your kids are sent to a good after-school class or other English program, they won’t have to worry about spending a lot of time coping with these worthless formulas.

3. Easy vocabulary

Also, to accommodate with students that don’t have a solid English foundation, schools won’t teach high level vocabulary. Textbooks give students easy vocab words like: bottom, middle, forest, so if anyone wants to learn more vocab, they’ll have to buy or find lists of vocabulary to memorize in their spare time.

If you don’t want your kids to have lots of pressure coping with English later on, you should really send your kids to all-English environments if they’re going to ordinary schools that might teach insufficient English. The best decision is to send your kids to proper English school if they want to study in the West when they’re older.

About Taipei Teen Tribune (105 Articles)
Taipei Teen Tribune is a free-to-read online news and interest blog written by some especially talented teenagers from Taiwan. We like to talk about life as students, important issues that affect people in Taiwan including politics, daily life, and even more fun issues like restaurant and movie reviews. Our site is great for teens and adults alike, anyone wanting to practice English, and for locals interested in fresh perspectives. Like our page on Facebook, sign up for our newsletter or visit our blog for our latest write-ups on what's happening in Taiwan.

1 Comment on Kids should learn English when young | Estella Tong – Grade 8

  1. I agree with the importance of starting to learn when young. Although it’s possible, with good instruction, to pick up a language fluently later, starting early has only benefits, no real drawbacks.

    But, there is no such thing as “native” pronunciation. Native speakers themselves have a range of accents and no one is correct. Beyond that, a lot of people who are actually native speakers of English, from places like Singapore, India, Nigeria and the Philippines, are not considered to have ‘native’ accents. Why not? The only reason I can think of is…racism.

    I also know many non-native speakers with enviable native-like accents. What is a non-native speaker anyway? Someone who moved to the UK when she was 10 would be a ‘non-native speaker’ but she’d most likely have a British accent. There just isn’t a binary.

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