The best age to start learning English for a non-native child

The best age to start learning English for a non-native child

It seems like everyone needs to speak English in this global village. What is the best age to start learning English for non-native speakers?

Increased interest in English, the global language, often raises the question "What is the best age to start learning English?"

Although it’s possible to master English at any age, many linguists and psychologists insist that it’s better to study from childhood. However, let’s review a few possible options that you would have as a parent.

1. From birth

Is it possible to learn English from the first days of life? Yes, it is. However, your baby can’t attend a school or special courses. Even a tutor is not the best decision. The child learns through interacting with the outside world so you have to create a special atmosphere around him. And I doubt you want to invite anyone into this cozy little world.

Therefore, if you want to start learning English with a child from the first days of his life, rely on your level of proficiency. For example, a lullaby in English is a very good option for a first acquaintance of the child with a foreign language.


  • The child is very receptive to any information: attention and memory are adjusted to get new knowledge from parents.
  • You will be able to instill an intuitive perception of the language.
  • You can learn native and foreign language with the child in parallel.


  • If you’re not fluent in the language, you can harm the baby.
  • Some psychologists believe that young children are not psychologically ready to learn a foreign language.
  • Learning a foreign language can also have a negative impact on the study of the native language.

2. At the Age of 1.5 to 2

In this case, you have a slight chance that some kind of English school will take on teaching your tiny child. However, such classes are usually conducted in the presence of the parents and have a number of other features. The main thing is to take into account the wishes of the child and to use those forms of language learning, which he likes.


  • At this age, brain centers are focused on the study of a language.


  • There is a risk of forming a negative emotional background in relation to language learning in case of improper organization of an educational process.

best age to start learning english

3. At the Age of 3 to 5

Most educators and psychologists insist that this is the most appropriate age to delve into the world of English. Moreover, in the process of learning, the child will develop fine motor skills, attention, perseverance, imagination, and many other skills.

Well, the difference in development between three-year and five-year-old children is very huge. And yet there are some common age-related features, due to which I have combined the kids with the age difference of two years in the same group:

  • This age is the preschool period.
  • Developing self-esteem of a self-esteem: the child wants to meet the requirements of adults, and thus it is possible to motivate him to spend more time on learning English
  • Children are actively playing role games that can also be used in the learning process. Games become an important element of understanding the world.
  • At this age, children need motivation to take actions.


  • The child already has some language skills and perfectly absorbs new information.
  • The kid compares himself with peers and assesses his actions.


  • If the learning process is not carried out in the form of the game, the child may quickly lose interest. Make sure it’s easy and fun.
  • If there is no motivation to perform any task, the child will not do it.
  • There is a danger to create a negative attitude towards English at an early age.
  • At the age of three, children experience one of the life crises so that additional load can harm him.

4. At the Age of 5 to 7

At this age, the child quickly expands the vocabulary of the native language and actively socializes with peers. That is why the most viable option of learning English is group learning. The child has a sufficiently large stock of knowledge about the world and no difficulties with learning new words in English if he already has an idea about this concept in the native language. The attention becomes more concentrated. At this age, the child can engage in an uninteresting matter of 20-25 minutes under the guidance of an adult. But this does not mean that the teacher is any longer required to turn English class into an exciting adventure. English for kids from 5 to 7 years should be exciting, bright, and colorful.


  • The child is fluent in the native language and is able to use it as the basis.
  • The baby has well-developed skills of self-organization.
  • The child can consciously learn English and has increased memory capacity.


  • At this age, the child is faced with the stress of transition from kindergarten to school.
  • English is a part of a school program, but very often such lessons are standard, carried out at the desk and under the guidance of a teacher.

5. 7+

If your child has reached the age of 7, you can start learning English at any time. Furthermore, if at an early age you could take the help of a tutor, now you can enroll your child in full-fledged English courses. Of course, first, you should take a trial lesson consider whether your child can get used to unfamiliar surroundings.

best age to start learning english

Note that big breaks in learning are not recommended. Although U-9 children are open books, studied material without frequent reminders are very quickly forgotten. I wish you best of luck in your teaching endeavors!

This article is written by Lucy Adams - an essay writer from 

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Lucy Adams

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