I wonder if you can spot the language learning professional in this story?

A Thai woman was recently quizzing me on a selection of Thai words and phrases when a 4 year old Thai child (who speaks some English already) walked into the room and decided to see what the grown-ups were doing.

When I made the mistake of looking slightly glum after not being able to remember one of the words quizzed, a look of concern appeared on the child’s face – children know how sad it is not to feel good about yourself and how challenging language learning can be. Even more importantly, they also know a lot about enthusiasm and its importance in performance.

But how could she, a 4 year old child, help a grown-up?

When I got the next one right she clapped her hands and smiled enthusiastically at me. The game was on!! Could I remember to be as smart as a four year old? So I clapped too and the Thai woman giving the quiz also clapped. And after that, every time I got an answer right the little girl would smile enthusiastically, applaud wildly and giggle with delight, and we would join in.

Did it seem a little crazy? Sure! Was it more fun that it was before the little girl reminded me not to be too grown-up? Absolutely.