The UK Department for Education states: ‘parental influence on children of primary school-age is six times higher than that of teachers.’ By helping children practise their English at home, parents can increase the time spent with their children, while establishing a common learning experience and interest between parent and child.
Here are our five top tips:
Picture book time
This method can open up a whole new world to young children learning English. Choosing the right books can be tricky, but it is important to understand the benefits of having this one-to-one interaction with your child. Picture books provide parents and children with an obvious reason for switching from their home language to speaking English. Parents who lack confidence in English find that the fixed text of a picture book is a useful prop.
Songs and rhymes
A fun way to pick up words in English is through repetition of rhymes and songs. You can put together a playlist with songs that can be played over and over again for your child to become familiar with certain words.
Practise reading the picture book aloud and decide how you are going to bring the story to life. Introduce some of the new words before reading the book and be prepared to whisper translations for difficult words until your child gets used to them!
English corner or English table
You can set up an area of the house that provides a focus for anything related to English sessions: games, a mini-library of picture books, displays of English culture such as pictures and flags, displays of drawings, home-made books or craft work.
English for everyday life
Label objects at home with English (for example, find 10 objects in one room every week and label them with English words). Chat about English words for food when putting away groceries from the marketplace, dining, or celebrating holidays. Add more fun to the children’s learning experience by playing memory games. When outside, look around for new words to learn, and write down the new vocabulary to look it up later.
Spending time with your child through English activities is very important. With the above tips, learning English can be fun, and you can try to make it a daily family activity. Find more enjoyable tips at LearnEnglish Kids.