I believe that the single most under-realized , under-used, and potentially most beneficial technique in language learning is play. It seems so obvious that it would be easy to not even mention it – but one huge difference between children and adults, is that children play – adults work. Somewhere, deep down in most adults seems to be this belief that says, “If I don’t try real hard and work at this, the world will stop turning, and life will end.” When we’re young, we don’t realize that life is such a serious thing. We don’t realize that one cannot just go around playing all the time. So we’re taught to take it all seriously. But when it comes to learning, are we really on the right track? It’s been noticed that children learn the most during their first 5 years of life. Much of that learning must have something to do with the fact that they’re playing all the time. Play is their natural state, and it is in this state of play where learning is maximized. We know that stress, fear, and all manner of adult-type concerns do NOT help people learn. So does play form the right sort of atmosphere conducive to learning? Yes! Play helps form exactly the sort of atmosphere that enables the very best learning. I won’t go into all of the ways that adults pressure themselves in negative ways, when it comes to learning a language, but it’s all those pressures seem to be absent when we look at a child gaining a new language. Children only play – Of course sometimes they need the adult to tell them that it’s only a game. They are intense in very different ways than the adult. Adults are intense here in all the adult ways, but children are intense players So my advice is to stop working at it. Stop trying. Play. Play some more. Play again. This is central not only to language acquisition, but to life itself!