Blogger | Dad
I am Tom Hardy co-founder of Toys Advisors blog. I have a small family with my wife Sophie, my son Quentin and my daughter Sarah in Toronto city in Canada. I spend most of the time with my family and so far, I have learned a lot about parenting. It is a challenging job to nurture a child in the 21st century. Personally, I try hard to teach good habits and inculcate basic skills to my children.
In today’s world, it is indispensable to improve the English skills of your child especially if English is not your first language. In my case, Spanish is the primary language spoken in my family. Speaking and understanding the English language is essential for the overall growth of your child. As your child grows, he or she should be able to communicate ideas using the English language. To make things easy, I encourage my children to communicate in English at home. This will build confidence in them and make their English fluent.
As per my experience, a child can learn through educational toys or parents can even teach English yourself. Here are some helpful tips I have found helpful to improve my children’s English skills that can be done at home. These techniques can be applied to improving skills in other languages as well!
How can a parent teach the child effectively and where does one start? The best answer to this is to start with oneself. Build a strong affirmative attitude for yourself and your child. Direct this towards the learning goal by finding ways to make the process more effective.
If you need to attend speaking classes where you’ve enrolled your child in, do so. This way, you will gain inkling on teaching English techniques. Aside from that, you will also be able to spend quality time with your child.
Oftentimes, many parents have had awkward experiences when speaking a foreign language. This often happens during their vacations abroad. When this happens, it results in apprehensions and hesitancy in learning languages.
Don’t let such experiences rub off on your child. As parents, teach your kids not only the language but the confidence to speak. Tell them making mistakes is part of the learning process. Tell them that only through this will they be able to learn how to speak fluent English.
Come up with a routine
When tutoring at home, make a daily schedule of your child’s learning sessions. Never start with sessions that are too long. Long sessions tend to bore the child. Also, having lessons intermittently causes the loss of continuity in the learning process.
It is best to have the session daily and for short periods of time. Start with fifteen-minute sessions on a daily basis. And as your child develops interest and concentration, gradually increase your time span. Short and varied activities will also keep your child in attention.
Try certain activities in the same time for each day. Learning what to expect will make the child feel more comfortable and confident. Every day after school, you can play an English game with the child. You can set up a special corner in your house for routine activities.
In this area, your child can read, watch English shows and play English related games. What is being emphasized here is learning through repetition. Listening repeatedly to words and phrases will develop in them the urge to say the words and phrases themselves.
Learn English through play
Each child has an instinct that drives them to learn anything and even everything. The instinct helps them learn the natural way. To facilitate their mastery of the language, let them play in it. Apply the learning process when they play games and let them play in English.
It’s surprising how fast children can learn the natural way. This is especially true when they are having fun. An even greater way to arouse the child’s interest to learn the language is through games with visual aids. Flashcards with pictures can help expand their vocabularies. Memory and flashcard games can achieve the same purpose too.
Apply English in everyday life
It’s fun for parents to teach children English by applying it to everyday situations in the home. Even naming simple objects around the house could draw a child’s attention to learn.
Mom for example, while doing the laundry, teaches the child different laundry items. While doing this, your child will surely want to participate in the fun and at the same time, learn apparel names. Dad can also have fun when he helps his son clean up his room.
Vocabulary can be expanded by playing and learning. Expanding the child’s food vocabulary can also be fun. When cooking or shopping, arouse the child’s interest by giving him a list of grocery items and making him find them.
Read English stories
You can acquire storybooks for children everywhere. You find them in stores, libraries, online, and by sharing or swapping with friends. Usually, the child doesn’t care much about the storybook’s language. But the ritual that goes with reading the book is more important to them.
As you read, your child pays attention and listens. A wise parent should take this opportunity to include some extra new English words to further the child’s vocabulary.
Storybooks with illustrations are another great way to develop language skills. That’s because each page comes with lots of visual clues. These storybooks are usually simplified for better understanding.
They are also repetitive for developing memory and introduces rhymes for more fun. Or you can even narrate the story to the child by describing the illustrations. This could further encourage the child to ask questions about the story.
About Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy is the co-founder of Toys Advisors blog. He currently resides in Toronto in Canada with his wife, Sophie and his two children, Quentin and Sarah. As most of his time is spent with his family, he enjoys learning from and sharing his parenting experiences with others.