Class-Home Resources, FAQs, News

9 Factors that Influence Language Learning for Kids


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This is a great blog post by a Montessori preschool / International Baccalaureate school in USA that summarises important factors that influence language learning. There’s no miracle working in language learning!

It’s common to believe that a child’s skill with learning an additional language comes naturally. We don’t agree. Yes, some children do pick up language skills faster than others—but that doesn’t mean that the ability to learn a language is an attribute possessed by only a lucky few.

When students start learning an additional language at Whitby, some do soak up the knowledge faster than others. Yet it’s not just natural ability at work. We’ve actually found that there are many internal and external factors that influence how fast students pick up a new language.

  1. Motivation? Are they being forced? Is there a lot of negative pressure on them at home?
  2. Is another language spoken at home?
  3. Is this their first foreign language?
  4. How does the student feel in the classroom? Is it a safe, relaxed space for them?
  5. How is the language taught? Immersion?
  6. How attainable does it feel to the student? Do they feel like what they’re learning is out of reach?
  7. Is the student introverted or extroverted? Is speaking in front of groups challenging?
  8. How old is the student?
  9. How comfortable do they feel learning the language in their current country? If their social group, school influence or society around them influence them a certain way, it may be a hindrance to learning. If a student comes along with the belief that it is “better” to learn a European language than an Asian language, there is an immediate barrier to engagement and mental block right there and it will be difficult to learn any Asian language…

Read the full post here: https://www.whitbyschool.org/passionforlearning/9-factors-that-influence-language-learning

We’d also like to add a very important #10 – How comfortable is the student with making lots of mistakes and not being perfect? Do they have a fixed or growth mindset? Learning a language, especially to speak a language, is all about trying, making mistakes, and learning along the way. A useful article on this: The learning myth: Why I’ll never tell my son he’s smart, by Sal Khan, of Khan Academy.

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2018 Term 3 Early Learners’ class week1-3


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football 足球 zú qiú
basketball 篮球 lán qiú
Tops 上衣 shàng yī
 skirt 裙子 qún zi
shoes 鞋子 xié zi
play football 踢足球 tī zú qiú
play basketball 打篮球 dǎ lán qiú
swimming 游泳 yóu yǒng
I go to (play football) 我去踢足球 wǒ qù tī zú qiú
I am wearing (tops) to (play football) 我穿(上衣)去(踢足球) wǒ chuān (shàng yī) qù (tī zú qiú)
I am wearing (tops) 我穿(上衣) wǒ chuān (shàng yī)
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2018 Term 3 Kids’ class level 2 week 1-3


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I am wearing (tops) and (shorts) today 我今天穿(上衣)和(短裤) wǒ jīn tiān chuān (shàng yī) hé (duǎn kù)
What are you wearing to (play basketball) today? 你今天穿什么去(打篮球)? nǐ jīn tiān chuān shén me qù (dǎ lán qiú)?
I am wearing (green sweater) to (play baseball) today 我今天穿(绿色的毛衣)去(打棒球) wǒ jīn tiān chuān (lǜ sè de máo yī) qù (dǎ bàng qiú)
I am wearing (red tops) and (blue shorts) today 我今天穿(红色的上衣)和 (蓝色的短裤) wǒ jīn tiān chuān (hóng sè de shàng yī) hé (lán sè de duǎn kù)
what will you wear to (play baseball) tomorrow? 你明天穿什么去(打棒球)? nǐ míng tiān chuān shén me qù (dǎ bàng qiú)
I want to wear (green sweater) to (play baseball) 我明天想穿(绿色的毛衣)去(打棒球) wǒ míng tiān xiǎng chuān (lǜ sè de máo yī) qù (dǎ bàng qiú)
will you wear (skirt) to (play baseball) tomorrow? 你明天穿裙子去(打棒球)吗? nǐ míng tiān chuān qún zi qù (dǎ bàng qiú) ma ?
restaurant 餐馆 cān guǎn
Yes, I want to wear(skirt) to (play baseball) tomorrow 是的,我明天想穿裙子去(打棒球) shì de, wǒ míng tiān xiǎng chuān qún zi qù (dǎ bàng qiú)
No, I don’t want to wear (skirt) to (play baseball) tomorrow 不,我明天不想穿裙子去(打棒球) bù, wǒ míng tiān bù xiǎng chuān qún zi qù (dǎ bàng qiú)
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2018 Term 2 Kids’ class Level 1 week 7-9


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street jiē
road
date/number hào
Where do you live? 你住在哪里? nǐ zhù zài nǎ lǐ?
I live at… 我住在… wǒ zhù zài…
I want to buy… 我想要买… wǒ xiǎng yào mǎi…
New Zealand 新西兰 xīn xī lán
Russia 俄罗斯 ér luó sī
Korea 韩国 hán guó
park (your) car in… 把车停在… bǎ chē tíng zài
Zoo 动物园 dòng wù yuán
Teacher’s/principal’s home 老师/校长的家 lǎo shī/xiào zhǎng de jiā
kindergarten 幼儿园 yòu ér yuán
supermarket 超市 chāo shì
medical center 诊所 zhěn suǒ
park 公园 gōng yuán
floor lóu
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2018 Term 2 Early Learners’ class week7-9


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Supermarket 超市 chǎo shì
zoo 动物园 dòng wù yuán
park 公园 gōng yuán
take a train 坐火车 zuò huǒ chē
ride a bicycle 骑自行车 qí zì xíng chē
take a plane 坐飞机 zuò fēi jī
I take the train to the park 我坐火车去公园 wǒ zuò huǒ chē qù gōng yuán
I take the plane to the park 我坐飞机去公园 wǒ zuò fēi jī qù gōng yuán
I ride a bicycle to the park 我骑自行车去公园 wǒ qí zì xíng chē qù gōng yuán
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2018 Term 2 Kids’ class level 2 week 7-9


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Supermarket 超市 chāo shì
zoo 动物园 dòng wù yuán
park 公园 gōng yuán
China 中国 zhōng guó
New Zealand 新西兰 xīn xī lán
School 学校 xué xiào
principal’s home 校长的家 xiào zhǎng de jiā
take a school bus 坐校车 zuò xiào chē
take a taxi 坐出租车 zuò chū zū chē
take a train 坐火车 zuò huǒ chē
ride a bicycle 骑自行车 qí zì xíng chē
take a plane 坐飞机 zuò fēi jī
drive a car 开车 kāi chē
Where are you going? 你去哪里? nǐ qù nǎ lǐ?
I am going to school 我去学校 wǒ qù xué xiào
How do you get the zoo? 你怎么去动物园? nǐ zěn me qù dòng wù yuán?
I ride a bicycle to the zoo 我骑自行车去动物园 wǒ qí zì xíng chē qù dòng wù yuán