In my last blog I gave you 5 Tips to Help you Avoid English Mistakes. Today, I am back with another interesting topic: How to Teach Your Kids English at Home.
In countries where English is not the first language, parents wish to teach their children English at an early stage considering its importance in academics and every other sphere of life. But they do not know how and where to begin. In this article, I will talk about 7 effective ways in which they can start teaching their kids English at home.
Why Should Children be Taught English at an Early Stage?
What would your answer be if I asked you how you became fluent in your mother tongue? Simple – because you have been speaking it since you were a child! English should be learnt in a similar manner so that the child gains enough practice.
What are the Benefits?
There are multiple benefits of teaching kids English:
- It gives more exposure to the child.
- They develop a habit of speaking in English.
- Learning a foreign language has cognitive benefits like flexibility of mind, increased creativity, enhanced memory, better critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Better access to information on the internet
- Higher academic achievement
- Cultural enrichment
Ways to Teach Kids English at Home
Teaching kids can be a little difficult as they cannot learn the conventional way i.e. you cannot make them sit at one place and learn grammar rules from text books. This would be too boring for them and they may develop a fear of the language, which we do not want. Hence, they should be taught in unique, interactive and fun ways, such as these
- Set a Routine: The best way to learn is to practice every day, hence it is best to set a routine for your child. Fix a particular time and stick to it. Short sessions of about fifteen to twenty minutes are enough for very young children as they have a short attention span.
Also keep in mind that short, regular sessions are better than long, irregular ones. Make the sessions fun in order to keep the child engaged.
- Play Games: Kids learn better when they are having fun. Therefore, engaging them in games is the best way to teach them English. Make flashcards, play games like Pictionary or scrabble and do crosswords with them to practice English.
- Engage in role-play: Role-play means to act out or perform the part of a character. Make a story with your child’s favourite cartoon character or a super hero and act it out. Speak out the dialogues and involve the child in the story line to practice speaking English.
- Show Picture Books: Children love bright coloured picture books. Use these to teach them the alphabet, names of animals, fruits, vegetables and so on. Begin by pointing at the picture and telling them what it is, then ask them where it is and finally let them name it on their own. For example, point towards the picture of a dog and tell them “this is a dog” first. Once they start identifying the dog, ask them ” where is the dog?” and let them show you. Lastly, let them look at the various pictures and name the objects on their own.
- Using Songs or Rhymes: There are several video songs and rhymes available over the internet today. Most of these use actions that demonstrate the meaning of the song/rhyme. Such videos are extremely helpful in teaching kids English as they learn the actions which helps them understand the meaning even if they cannot repeat the song or rhyme.
- Using stories: Reading short stories to children is an effective way of teaching English. It helps children learn the language as well as develop listening and reading skills.
Related: Comic Books can help you learn English!
- Using Everyday Situations: Describing everyday situations and routine activities makes language learning easier. This helps kids become fluent speakers as they can talk about any given topic with ease because of speaking practice. Therefore, always encourage your child to converse with you in English and introduce them to objects around them from the start. You can do so by:
– Talking about the activity that they are doing as they do it. Suppose your child is getting dressed, talk to them about their clothes, ask them to describe how they are wearing it, what colour the clothes are and so on.
– Discussing the type of furniture around the house, kitchen utensils, electrical appliances and so on to improve vocabulary. Tell them the function of each of each of these in short sentences so that they remember them.
Teach them when they are young so that they do not hesitate when they grow older. Most adults hesitate while speaking English as they are not confident of themselves, this can be easily avoided by following the above steps. Also, remember that every child learns at a different pace, so do not worry if your child is taking some time to speak English. Be patient and do not rush.
I hope these tips help you teach your kids English at home. Keep reading my blog for more such helpful articles!