We live in a globalised world and speaking English with proficiency is important. More and more parents are keen on getting their children started at an early age. Parent’s support and encouragement is the single most important thing for the success of a child. To enter the global workforce, English has become a necessity. Almost 50% of the content available on the internet today is in English. Therefore, knowing the language would make you avail incredible amount of information, which would not be possible otherwise. Children who learn to speak English at a young age have numerous advantages while they grow. World’s top films, books and music are now produced in English and we get to know of the world’s diversity through them.
Undoubtedly, schools play a major role in developing the language skills of a child. But home environment cannot be ignored. The kind of places a child visits and the people he meets also contribute to his knowledge. Whatever age a child starts talking, if encouraged, he can surely speak fluently. Following is a list of things parents can do to make their kids friendly with English language:
- Positive environment: Do not force your child to speak when he doesn’t want to. Just use simple English phrases which they do not have to answer. When they see you talking they will surely be encouraged. Give small instructions on and off like- “Please get me a glass of water” or “Give me the book, please”. These conversations are really helpful in building an environment that doesn’t pressurize them but helps them in making an automatic shift. Using everyday situations is also a great way to teach them. Making conversations about the food laid on the table or the furniture in the room can build a powerful vocabulary.
- Effective spoken English lessons – Enroll your child in a class that caters to listening, speaking, reading and writing (LSRW) skills. Get a deep understanding of the course material before you admit your child. Younger children generally learn while they hear but with elder ones explicit knowledge of grammar works well. They have to be taught the right usage of words and then do exercises where they put their learning in practice. You might come across many courses for spoken English but not all of them are reliable. Choose a very practical, smart program. Aloha English Smart is one such course where kids develop confidence in oral and written communication in various real life situations.
- Games, movies and music- Children can learn through entertainment. Let your child enjoy some online games in English. Play some interesting board games like scrabble or hangman that enhance their grip over spellings or increase word power and vocabulary. Let them enjoy a movie that inspires them or maybe some nice song which they can later sing. These fun activities keep them happy and active and they would surely not feel the burden of learning.
- Story time- Stories are a wonderful way of learning. Reading aloud to our kids can really make a big difference. Find new picture books, story books with large images and start simple. They learn new words, pronunciation and intonation and develop imagination skills which in turn help them in writing. At the end of every story a series of questions about the story is something that interests a child. He may happily build a few sentences to answer the questions asked by you.
- Socializing- Man is a social animal. We meet people and make friends. Choose a few friends for your child with whom he can talk in English. This will be the most motivating thing to do. Kids learn faster from their peers. He would learn a lot on each play date and surely surprise you with new words and sentences.
- Follow a routine- It is always important to practice for a short span everyday rather than taking longer sessions infrequently. Learning is a regular process. If you disconnect with the work for a few days your child might lose interest. Make sure you spend little time doing a constructive activity each day.
It is a great feeling to see your child enjoying a second language. Children should be comfortable and must enjoy the process. It’s not a race. If kids are exposed to fun ways regularly they will have a positive experience. Teach with a great deal of energy and creativity and soon you will reap the results of your efforts!