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“I hate English!”

How many times have I heard this? I get students sitting in front of me all of the time saying “I hate English”. It is normally followed with “I don´t get it, or I don´t understand it or my teacher is stupid” the most important thing is that the child is obviously not enjoying learning English.

If your child isn´t experiencing much success in their English language learning, there are a couple of things you can do to change this around immediately.

 Help your child to understand why it is that they are actually learning English in the first place.

Learning a language is all about NEED. If you need English you will learn English.

So here is my first piece of valuable advice that you will need to help your child succeed in English at school.

Help your child to define it´s own NEED for the English language.

This has to be your childs need and not yours. Let them come to the conclusion themselves that they want or need to learn this language. You can show them areas in their lives where it will be important, of course suceediing in school is very important,however not to all kids, well actually hardly any kids go to school to succeed themselves, initially they go to please their parents :-). Once a child realizes that education is for his own good then it´s easy to learn. So try to guide your child but do not give them the answer to this question, it is so important.

If the brain knows its needed the brain will perform, and you cannot fool it! However, if it´s not convinced it won´t perform ☺

Once your child has a NEED for the language, they will start to develop their own learning strategy. Make sure the fun factor is high and that the initial learning is based around a subject that they are passionate about.

A great example is a young girl I met a few weeks ago. She literally stood in the doorway to my office and said in German “I hate English”. Initially I was slightly shocked, no good morning, hello or my name is… Simply just “I hate English!”

I laughed, and replied with “I´m sure you don´t hate it, you maybes don´t enjoy it but I am sure you don´t hate it.”

“Oh I do!” was the reply.

After an hour of discussing her hobby and talking about her school life she slowly started to open up to me. Her hobby was football. I started talking about my local team in England, Newcastle United. She was very interested and mid-sentence I changed from German to English. She didn´t even notice 🙂

As we got to the end of the lesson, I asked her if she still hated English. Her reply says it all:

” I don´t hate your English Fiona, this was great fun. This wasn´t real English, I hate what I have to do in school!”

The lesson we can all take from this is that it is up to us what, how and where we learn. School is an impulse and education is really important, however in the world that we live in today where information is so readily available to us all, we have to help our students to understand they can get their impulses from all sorts of different places, teachers and school are an option but if that isn´t fun then look elsewhere. It does´t mean you hate the subject, it just means you have to change the way in which you are trying to learn.

I strongly believe that if you help your child find a NEED for their English and you allow them to enjoy learning it in their own way, the success will come quicker that you can dare to imagine.

Have a nice day and Enjoy learning English 🙂

Fiona Simpson-Stöber