Numbers are pretty important in any language. We use them every day in a wide array of situations. They are also pretty easy to learn, being applicable in many meaningful contexts and you already know the system. In fact, I highly recommend learning numbers in English (or any other target language) as soon as possible. It’s even a great way to get a foothold in the learning process!
Following are just a few easy ways to incorporate numbers into your language learning method:
Too easy, right? Counting comes naturally to us as human animals. We are programmed from a very young age to count everything around us. We can use this to learn numbers in English by… counting everything around us. In English.
Walking down the road? Count cars. Count trees. Count people wearing red shirts. Count money when you buy something with change.
Everything is an opportunity.
Maths is another thing we do all the time. Many people don’t like to think so, but we use maths every day. How many hours left at work? How much is 20% off that jacket on sale? How much with this week’s groceries cost?
Another thing that many people to is to practise equations every day or a few times a week to keep their minds active and sharp.
Many people’s jobs also require varying amounts of maths. Use this to your advantage! Remember, language is a tool and the more you use it usefully the more finesse you gain with it!
Simply (I know it takes effort, but it really is simple) do these everyday calculations in English! Or your own target language, of course.
Too many people consider games as as only useful for children. But playing is how children learn, and as adults we can hack into this beauty of a process to our advantage. We can play with intent.
I won’t go into how amazing games are for learning here, that’s for a whole post on its own. But here are a few games that we can play as adults (or older kids, adapt them to your or your kids’ level!) to boost our learning experience.
Adaptable to any level and not only to numbers, bingo is a game played by children learning languages all over the world. You can improvise bingo sheets any time and anywhere. You need paper, pens and at least one other person.
Write down plenty (say 24+) numbers. A great opportunity to practise your large numbers like 64,657,390.567… draw a 4 by 4 grid, fill the squares with your chosen words/numbers and play bingo!
You can use cards for all sorts of low level number games. Take a look at my post on playing cards for way more detail.
Compete against your friends and family to see who can count the highest, say large numbers the fastest (pay attention to some basic pronunciation rules for this-for example: in English there are “unimportant” words which are barely pronounced in normal speaking), etc. Anything that comes to mind works!
If you can think of any other ways to practise your numbers in English or other language, go for it! Numbers are easy, so easy that they tend to get memorised then forgotten from lack of practice. All it takes is a small effort and remembering to use them.
The end. Go forth and count!