Why Can't We Learn English? Why Can't We Speak English?
1-) Passive Learning Period – Voice and Ear Training
There are a total of 40 to 100 different sounds in different languages. When young children are born, their hearing systems have the sensitivity to detect and distinguish the difference between all these sounds.
Scientific researches show that every one-year-old child can perceive sound differences in all languages available in the world, while adults are not successful in perceiving sounds other than those in their native language.
While the child specializes in recognizing the sounds, emphasis and vocal transitions of whichever language he is exposed to after he is born, he also begins to become blunt to the sounds he is not hearing and exposed to. For example, while a child born in Turkey continues to perceive sounds, intonations and stresses in Turkish, the ability to perceive sounds in other languages disappears after a while, that is, it becomes dull.
In the meantime, we should not miss the following exceptions. For example, if a child whose mother is English and father is Turkish is spoken in two languages, for example, if the siblings speak English with the mother and Turkish with the father, the sensitivity in perception of both English and Turkish sounds preserves itself.
The most important element of the passive period is that the child is in constant communication with each other and tries to associate everything with meaning, even if he cannot speak.
From here we can deduce:
“Language learning starts with voice and ear training. It is very important to correctly perceive and understand the sounds in the target language to speak that language. However, voices should be heard by the native speaker. "
2- Speaking Period - Teaching the Language
The speaking period and the decoding of the language consist of several successive periods.
Single Word Language Learning Period (Holophrastic Language Stage)
In the last part of the passive period, children start to speak slowly in one-word sentences. So the conversation emerges gradually. Towards the end of the passive period, when they are about 8 - 10 months old, children can express their troubles by saying 50 - 100 single words. During this period, the average rate of learning words per day is 0.3 words / day.
I did not have the opportunity to examine the language learning processes of my own children. If there were, I was not as knowledgeable about mother tongue and second language learning as it is now, and most of the scientific study results and theories on language learning are information that emerged in later periods. However, I had the opportunity to consciously observe the language learning processes of my grandchildren under the light of scientific study results.
One of the first words that my grandson Cansu, who is now 3 years old, spoke in the 8-10 month period was "water". The word was not exactly "water" either. He creatively told us that he wanted water by making a “huu” or “hoh” sound while tapping his hand against his mouth, making us all laugh.
Another of Cansu's first words was the word "father". This voice did not come out directly as "father". The boy actually made a sound like "ba". Maybe it wasn't even the "father" he meant to say. But his mother said, " Aaaaa daddy ", he hugged him with a enthusiastic voice.
His father immediately picked him up. We all applauded and he was delighted to see that we were happy. Seeing such an enthusiastic reaction, he probably thought that this is a good thing, he said and said again of his " ba " voice. After a while, the " ba " sound became the word " father ". Some of Cansu's first one-word sentences were these words;
- water (hoh - hou - water)
- father (ba - ba - father)
– take (a – take)
- give (and - give)
- come (come - come - come)
In other words, language learning starts with word learning and single word sentences.
Two-Word Language Learning Period (Telegraphic Language Stage)
In the first 8 months and the next 6 months, the average word learning rate of children per day continues as 0.3 words/day. Meanwhile, one-word conversations are followed by the use of short sentences of two words. Most of them are used in combining different single word speeches. Some of the two-word sentences that our grandson Cansu made in the 8-14 month period in this way were as follows;
- give me water
- Mom, come
– give mom
- dog bark
During this period, the child continues to perceive the grammatical structure of his / her mother tongue gradually, by listening to what is said, from similar patterns.
Syntastic Language Stage
In the 14-23 month period, the child starts to perceive the simple grammatical structure internally. During this period, the child begins to form simple past and present tense sentences with simple word syntax such as the examples given below.
- I ate.
- I am eating.
During this period, the child's daily vocabulary learning speed increases to 0.8 words / day. This is still a low learning speed of words. However, learning and simple speaking continue all the time. Learning words takes place by hearing the words interactively in various sentences.
In the 23-30 month period, the speed of the child's learning vocabulary increases slightly to an average of 1.6 words / day.
The learning speed of the words, which are the building blocks of the language , suddenly accelerates between the ages of 30 months and 6 and becomes an average of 3.6 words a day. When my granddaughter Cansu was about 33 months old, she said , “ Grandfather, have the feast with mulberry (meaning 'happy feast')” on the feast of the sacrifice , both surprised and made me laugh.
A child of approximately 36 months (3 years old) can make sentences similar to the following expressions;
“ My grandmother gave this baby. My grandmother is my mother's mother. I also have my grandmother. She is also my father's mother. Aunt Hale is my mother's brother. “
3- Reading and Writing Period - Mastering the Language
The mastery of children in using their mother tongue is enhanced by the fact that they start school at the age of 6-8, their socialization is folded, and, in a way, they learn to read and write.
When the child starts reading a book in this period, the average speed of word learning becomes 6.6 words / day. Vocabulary learning increases to an average of 12.1 words per day at the age of 8-10.
After this analysis, we can transform the steps of learning children's mother tongue into a flow chart as follows;
Flow Chart of Learning the Mother Tongue
Why can't we learn english? - Language Learning Flow
If you look at this stream, language learning;
1-) First, it starts as anintensive " Passive Listening and Comprehension " training.
2-) The processcontinues in the form oflearning words in sentences, that is, "Learning First Words After Speaking ". These words consist of the most used words in daily speech. Speech stage stageis made in sentences with" one-word ", " two-word " and " word strings ".
3-) With the " Reading Period "that comes into play later,more words are learned and mastery of daily speech and understanding begins.
4-) With the " Writing Period ", the fourth link of the language learning chain is completed.
Scientific sources admit that unlike animals, humans are born with language learning skills in their brains. The language learning flow chart of the brain, which is born with language learning skills, is possible by following these four steps in the order indicated ( 1-2-3-4 ). This flow emerges from the analysis of how the mother tongue is learned.
When Learning English as a Second Language, Our Flow Chart Starts Reverse
While learning a second language, we forget how we learn a mother tongue, and while learning a second language , the mother tongue learning steps listed as " 1 (listening) - 2 (word and speaking) - 3 (reading) - 4 (writing) " are used as " 3 (reading) - 4 " in the second language. (writing) - 2 (speaking) ”
while trying to do it in reverse,“ Subj. + Verb + Obj. We try to teach the language at a high level by telling grammar in the form of ”.
In addition, the " 1 ( Intensive Listening & Comprehension) " stage, which should be at the top, seems to be almost nonexistent in this ranking.
For example, we do not learn English by starting to make sentences with simple words. By trying to teach students grammar, we try to make them start speaking with upper pitch and complex sentence structures.
To speak, the student first thinks about the grammatical structure and then tries to sort the words in accordance with that grammatical structure. In other words, learning does not go from simple to complex step by step, we try to speak directly using complex grammatical structures.
What Is The Result? The result is “We cannot learn English”, “We cannot speak English.
So What Is The Ideal Solution?
I will offer you two different solutions. In the light of what has been explained so far, the best solution is to learn the second language by going to the country where that language is spoken.
Such learning gives you almost one-to-one the process young children go through while learning their mother tongue.
In such an environment, you constantly hear the target language when you turn on the radio in the car, watch TV in the evening, when you go shopping, in communication to meet your daily needs and try to explain your problem.
There is always hearing, continuous learning, constantly using what has been learned and trying to speak. Rather than learning the language, you learn by necessity to meet your needs.
Of course, in such an environment, you should try not to get together with your friends whose native language is Turkish. Babies learn their mother tongue in a similar process.
When learning a second foreign language or English, you should try to make the learning steps the same as the steps followed while learning the mother tongue of the children, or you should choose the alternatives whose conditions are closest to these steps.
Only in this way, you can learn a foreign language quickly, easily and permanently by activating the language acquisition mechanisms in our innate brain.
If you do not have the opportunity to learn the target language by going abroad, I will offer you a second alternative below.
What is Mega English?
Alternative solution is " Mega English / Mega Words " training program. We have repeatedly repeated that when learning a second foreign language or English, you have to do the learning steps the same as the steps followed while learning the mother tongue of children.
We emphasized that only in this way you can learn a foreign language by activating the language acquisition mechanisms in our innate brain. Here is “ Mega English / Mega Words“By doing just that, the curriculum tries to teach English as children learn their mother tongue.
It aims to make the children listen to the words in sentences as they learn while learning their mother tongue and making them understand.
It aims to teach grammar not by telling the grammar in person, but by constantly listening to similar sentences, by imitating the brain as children learn a language and by noticing patterns.
The " Mega English / Mega Words " education program teaches English by teaching the most commonly used words in daily conversation as children learn their mother tongue. For this, it starts with teaching the first 1000 most used words in English and sentences formed with these 1000 root words.
It allows these sentences to be heard with the voices of native English speakers. Because the scientific studies show that learning the first 1000 words most used in English enables you to understand 84.3% of daily English conversations.
Adults Have Advantages in Learning Languages
Scientific studies on second language learning show that older students and adults who learn a second language are more advantageous in learning vocabulary than children who learn their mother tongue. Because adults have a much larger database of building relationships.
The "Mega English System" has also brought the topic of " Learning English Vocabulary with Memory Techniques " into the work, and the word learning speed of advanced students and adults has increased to the maximum level.
With memory techniques, 20-25 words can be learned a day. ButThe Mega English system aims to teach 10 new words a day with memory techniques so that time can be spent listening to the same words and sentences many times, other exercises, “systematic repetition” and learning games explained below.
This speed is much faster than the average number of words that babies learn per day until the age of 8. You can make a comparison in the light of the information given below;
Average Number of Words per Day for Children
• 12 - 16 months old - 0.3 words / day
• 16 - 23 months old - 0.8 words / day
• 23 - 30 months old - 1.6 words / day
• 30 months - 6 years old - 3.6 words / day
• 6 - 8 years old from - 6.6 words / day
You should not overlook another very important factor in the easy learning of children's mother tongue. Learning in children is dispersed over a wide period of time, and the child encounters the same words and sentences over and over again. Scientific studies show that approximately 75% of the new information learned is forgotten in the first 24 hours. This situation does not constitute an obstacle for the child's learning. Because many come across the same words and the same sentences over and over again. This situation can negatively affect the learning of older students and adults. However, the "Mega English System" solved this problem too. How Does?
Systematic Repeat Advantage
Scientific studies point out that a repetition appropriate to the structure of the brain must be made in order not to forget the new information learned. This repetition, called " Systematic Repetition ", emphasizes that the newly learned information should be repeated the same day, the next day, one week, one month and six months later so that the newly learned information is not forgotten. Here, with an artificial intelligence system installed in the "Mega English System" software, it also allows you to automatically encounter the words and sentence structures it teaches in systematic repetition times.
The main purpose of reading and writing exercises in the Mega English software is not reading and writing. To do the reading and writing exercises, you need to listen and understand the relevant words or sentences. So, there is definitely listening involved. All listening is done with native English audio pronunciations.
The learning and use range of the "Mega English System" is a range starting from 7, which is the age of learning to read and write, up to the age of 77. Anyone who is in this range and wants to learn English in a similar way that children learn their mother tongue can use it.