12 Best Ways to Help Your Child to Learn English

help your child to learn english

Today’s children are bombarded with English from almost all directions- on advertisement boards, story books, TV programs and cartoons, and even songs on the Radio. Even schools, especially in towns and cities, expect children to have a certain amount of proficiency in English as it is one of the main languages that the children have to learn. In English medium schools, children have to speak, read and even write in English. No wonder parents feel pressured to make their children comfortable with the language.

Unfortunately, English isn’t one of those languages that can be learned from a textbook, with rules to be kept in mind. English is funny in a way that, for every direction, there are many exceptions. Fortunately, the best way to learn English, like any other language, is by practice. The more we practice, the better we get at it.

Young children quickly pick up a language provided they are exposed to it often and in multiple forms. So, rather than waiting for your child to enter school to begin learning English, why start earlier? If you are not comfortable with the language, you, too, can start to learn English for your child’s benefit.

Here are How Tips to Support Your Child’s English Learning

These methods can be used for preschoolers as well as for primary and older children as a way to learn and improve their English:

1. Use English Story Books

Storybooks in English are available very quickly, whether in hard copies or even an ebook. Try getting English versions of your child’s favorite stories and read them to them or with them. Audiobooks or follow-along/read-along books are an option worth using if you are not comfortable reading English, as they provide you with the correct pronunciation and intonation patterns. After you are familiar with the story, you can even try reading the novel by yourselves. You can also swap or borrow books from friends and neighbors. Learning English through stories is relaxing. The more you read the same story repeatedly, the more familiar your child will get with the common words and sentence formation and may even pick up some fun phrases. Books with illustrations help children understand the story with the help of visual cues.

2. Learn English or Any Other Language With Them

When learning English or any other language alongside your child, you will appreciate the effort it takes. It is an excellent way to bond as you try to use what you have learned with each other, giving your child the gratifying opportunity to correct you when you are wrong. When learning a different language, you can even share what you have learned with each other, like the names of some household items or even simple phrases or questions. It is an excellent way to track each other’s progress. Click here to know more about the learn alphabet activities for Kids.

3. Do An English Activity

Another simple way to learn or practice English is to choose a simple activity you do every day and talk in English. It could be a 10-12 minute activity like brushing your teeth, using English names like ‘toothbrush,’ ‘toothpaste,’ and ‘water .’And even make use of sentences like putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush, brushing my teeth, washing with water, and so on. You can try this even during bath time when having meals or getting ready for school. As you get used to this, you can even do longer activities like arts and crafts or cooking together where you instruct or request things in English, like “please pass the glue,” “cut the grapes in half,” “please hold this for me,” or “mix the flour in the batter .”Use simple sentences to practice what you know. Click here to know more about the best amazing preschool activities.

4. Set All Gadgets to English

ways to learn english

These include Mobile phones, gaming consoles, e-book readers, tablets and computers, etc. Setting the default language as English would mean that your child will slowly get used to and begin understanding the primary and general instructions used.

5. Don’t Focus on Mistakes

When learning a new language, it takes time to get comfortable with it, and even then, there are the more minor nuances that also need time to understand and get used to. Please encourage your child to use English to communicate; as long as they can get their message across, it’s okay. Constantly correcting them or making them repeat the correct sentence is exhausting and can frustrate the child and take away the joy of learning and trying out something new. As cute as it may seem, refrain from focusing on or teasing your child with a mispronounced word. It might make them self-conscious, and they may even stop learning. Instead, once in a while, you can repeat the word or sentence correctly as if trying to conform to what they were saying. E.g., if they say, “want Lello ‘nana,” you could respond say, “here is your yellow ba-nana,” giving slight stress on the words ‘yellow’ and ‘banana,’ or if they say, “look helicopter,” you could say “yes, that is a Heli-cop-ter.”

6. Pay Attention to Vocabulary, Not Grammar

Chances are that the teachers in school are already teaching your child grammar. They follow a curriculum. They are systematic in their approach, and they are also able to be consistent with their explanations and the terminologies used. Instead of grammar, please help your child with vocabulary. The more words they learn, the better they will be at communicating. A child’s English language skills will improve and grow as they learn more words and the names of things. So if they say “want an apple,” they have managed to get their message across, “I want an apple” is a sentence structure using the correct noun. The article is best for the teachers to explain, especially if English is not your first language.

7. Let them Mix Words from their First Language

As children begin learning English, they can’t know or even remember the English alternative for all the words they know, so for example, they say “give me that” instead of “give me an umbrella,” praising their efforts of trying to speak in English. As they grow older and with practice, they will soon learn the word ‘umbrella.’

8. Watch English Programs

Try watching family serials and cartoons in English. Most TV shows and cartoons also allow you to change the language. This is a great way to learn English while enjoying yourself too. With comics and children’s shows, your child is already familiar with them, so even though they may not understand what is being said, they can still follow the plot and pick up new words along the way.

9. Send them for English Classes/Tuition

The best way for children to learn English at their own pace, yet with experienced guidance, is to send them to English tuition/ classes. It is not as dull as it sounds. It can be enjoyable. Since the curriculum here is not school-based, the children are more relaxed. There are many exciting activities and opportunities for your child to listen, think, speak and even write in English. Classes like phonetics classes or English-speaking classes are good places to begin.

10. Listen to English Songs on the Radio or YouTube

Playing the songs in the background or actively listening to them as you dance and move around is another way to learn English. You will soon memorize the words when you listen to the songs over and over again. Children’s songs like “head and shoulders” and “if you’re happy and you know it” are songs that will help you learn about different parts of the body as well as the names of specific actions like’ clapping,’ ‘stomping,’ and ‘snapping’ to name a few. In contrast, songs like ‘old McDonald had a farm’ will teach you the names of animals and the sounds they make.

11. Experiment with Sounds, Letters, and Words

At family time or during meals, you can play simple word games like naming a few words that begin with / c/ (pronounced ‘cut’), play the game phonetically so if they cat, kite, kiss, these would be phonetically similar, so it is correct. You can also play what rhymes with ‘mug .’Practice some tongue twisters and prepare to roll with laughter. Learning English can be loads of fun. Click here to know more about the best nursery rhymes for kids.

12. Play Word Games

Prepare chits of paper; on it, you can write the names of certain fruits, vegetables, or toys, and each one takes a turn to fetch the item. You can also give your child a chance to correct you by bringing the wrong item. You can modify the game and replace the names of things with action words, and each one does the action they get on the chit.

Along with doing these activities with your child, you could even organize playdates with other English-speaking children to give your child to practice what they know, even at the park, and encourage your child to communicate with others in English. There are also many apps you can download or even websites you can visit to help you learn and practice English.

Most importantly, relax even if your child is still behind the others in speaking English. Bilingual and even multilingual children take time to process and understand the language properly before being able to tell it. Don’t worry; they will soon catch up and probably be the envy of others for being fluent and able to communicate in more than one language.

At Euro kids, we understand that English is not the first language of most children, so the language of instruction in the initial days of preschool is multilingual. However, English is still the primary language. It is fantastic to see children who couldn’t understand a word of English slowly begin to talk and communicate in English, and that too within a few short months of being in school.

Click here to schedule multiple visits to a Euro kids center near you and see how children learn and communicate in English over time.