Having to go to bed early and getting an unfair TV ban - when we think about such moments we are very happy to have finally left our childhood days behind. However, we also like to think back to our past.
Above all, we would love to tap into that carefree pre-school learning phase, not least when it comes to languages. After all, it's been proven that children learn new vocabulary almost in their sleep.
That is why Vera F. Birkenbihl researched exactly how children learn and how we as adults can re-appropriate the subconscious mechanisms.
We show you how to use Linguajet and the Birkenbihl method to learn a new language as you learned your mother tongue as a child. Find out how this works here:
Why is it easier for children to learn new languages?
Children learn a new language without spending hours cramming vocabulary or doing grammar exercises.
Children who grow up in a bilingual environment seem to have a special advantage: even if they have already learned their first language when they move with their parents to a new country, they rarely have problems before school age and quickly find their way in the new language.
This is because it is much easier for children to understand the "rules" of a language unconsciously and through play. Daily contact with the language means that grammar rules and a sense of word order come naturally to us.
Linguajet therefore relies on the method for learning new languages developed by Vera F. Birkenbihl. This method allows you to learn in a particularly brain-friendly way through regular listening, reading along and understanding. In this way, even as an adult, you can develop your very own feeling for vocabulary and grammatical contexts that were previously completely foreign.
So even adults learn with ease
It's true that children find learning easier. Brain research has found, however, that the production of nerve cells in the brain does not stop after puberty, as was previously assumed.
The language center, in particular, can be effectively stimulated by the appropriate learning method. However, too often we let ourselves be discouraged prematurely by a long-held assumption that the time of language learning is over.
In order to counter this demotivating self-doubt, it helps to look at the concrete advantages that you can fall back on for language learning at different stages in life. After all:
We humans can learn for a lifetime.
At 30 years old: you may have already completed an apprenticeship or a course of study and are already more or less firmly established in your professional life.
Learning a new language for professional advancement gives you a good motivational boost at the start and makes you apply what you have learned directly in your everyday working life.
At 50 years old: you benefit above all from existing knowledge.
Perhaps you have already successfully learned a foreign language and can recognize the logic behind certain grammatical contexts more easily. But even if you are learning a foreign language for the first time, the many years of using your own mother tongue is useful to quickly identify and analyze similarities and differences to the foreign language.
At 70 years old: After entering well-earned retirement, you have one great advantage: You have time to practice!
Because what could perhaps be saved effortlessly as a child after the first hearing now requires a lot of repetition and hard work.
Many pensioners therefore dedicate themselves to a long-term intensive course. With Linguajet you can even decide yourself when and how intensively you want to learn. In order to achieve a basic vocabulary in ten weeks, it takes three learning units of ten minutes a day. If you have more time, simply increase your workload and go straight into the fast lane.
Demotivation starts at school
So if we are still capable of learning at any age, why does it get harder for most people to learn a new language successfully over time?
It turns out that our motivation to learn a language decreases as time goes by, starting from the minute we attend our first foreign language lesson at school.
This is because outdated teaching methods have always relied on stubborn memorization instead of letting the brain learn in the way a child learns new things.
When we talk about a natural learning process, we have to imagine that in our very first year as a baby we spent a good few months feeding our brains with pure input before uttering those first thrilling words: "Mom" and "Dad".
In traditional language teaching, this initial stage of constant passive listening to the target language is simply omitted. We are encouraged to process completely new words by cramming and learning by rote. There are no quick results and we soon get frustrated.
The Birkenbihl concept, on the other hand, is fully geared to brain-friendly learning, in the same way that you learned your own mother tongue as a child. You learn in short, ten-minute sessions instead of hours of pondering grammatical puzzles. This makes your brain fit and receptive for every new lesson.
Best practice: Learning languages, as you learned your mother tongue
The Birkenbihl method is unlike conventional learning concepts. There is no need to spend hours cramming vocabulary; instead, ten-minute learning phases enable you to focus completely on each new exercise.
The first step is to train your listening and reading comprehension in order to empathize with the sound and structure of the new language:
- A text is read to you in the target language.
- While you listen to the foreign text, a translated version in your native language is visually displayed in a second line.
- Gradually you will be able to understand the complete content without translation assistance and add the new words to your vocabulary cache.
This process is very similar to the learning rhythm of a child learning their mother tongue. Children also learn how to use language through activities such as songs, interaction or the daily bedtime story.
Speech rhythm and new words are memorized in a brain-friendly way in the subconscious. If you approach a new language in the way you once learned your own mother tongue, you will develop a healthy feeling for the language over time and correctly apply even complicated grammar by instinct.
Child's play! Accent-free pronunciation through passive listening
The step from general listening and reading comprehension to the first simple conversation often makes us nervous. Yet pronunciation is also a completely natural process, rather like the first words of a small child. You can control and even actively accelerate this process by alternating exercises.
Linguajet recommends one to three 10-minute learning phases per day. In order to consolidate each unit, the Birkenbihl method also works with passive listening. This means that you simply return to your everyday life after each learning session.
In the background, however, you can run the text you just heard, a radio program or a TV show in the target language.
Your brain continues to work during this time, making the sound of foreign language more and more familiar to you. During this time, the subconscious is already working on the nerve pathways that prepare you for starting to speak.
Your advantage: Unlike small children, you already have a vocabulary in your mother tongue. You only have to find the correct links to the structures you already know.
The first "Mama" and much more will trip from your lips after just a few days rather than having to wait a whole year!
So the motto is: There's no such thing as too late!
No matter what stage of your life you are at: With Linguajet and the Birkenbihl method, language learning is as easy as it was as a child!
Get started right away! Linguajet provides you with a free learning sample to download, so you can test the Birkenbihl method right at home.
Make your language dream come true!
Learning languages has never been easier. Start now and see for yourself.