English is currently a global benchmark for all conversations. Right from personal conversations to formal scenarios, the ability to read, write and communicate in English is always respected. Parents quite often wonder how to teach their children English at home and may use a variety of different approaches to do the same. They should keep in mind to be enthusiastic and give their children the right motivation and appreciation. By doing so, children will pick up the passion to learn the language. It is also important to be patient, as the child may not start speaking the language right away. They will need a certain time to absorb the language. Hence, it is important to stay composed and motivate them constantly.
Why learn English at home?
- Time: Learning a language at home can effectively save plenty of time. This in turn helps create extra space for the child’s skills to develop naturally.
- Access: In the age of digital development, everything one needs is available on the internet. Right from books to fun games, anything you need to develop your child’s English speaking skills is just one click away.
- Convenience: Learning English from home makes it convenient for both the child and the parent. They can relax from the comfort of their own home and gain fluency in the language faster and better.
What are the benefits?
There are numerous benefits of teaching English to children:
- It gives the child more exposure as English is a universal language.
- Improves the power of memory.
- Learning a language has many cognitive benefits such as flexibility of the mind, enhanced memory and creativity, improved critical thinking, problem solving skills and decision-making abilities.
- Increased ability in digital literacy.
- Higher academic successes.
- Enrichment of culture.
Ways to teach children English at home
- Set up a routine: Practice makes perfect and the best way to learn is by practising every day. Set a specific time and stick to it. Ideally, short sessions of around 15 to 20 minutes are enough for young children because they tend to have a short attention span. It is also important to keep the session as simple as possible. Keep in mind that quick, simple sessions everyday are better than long, irregular sessions. Make the sessions entertaining to keep the child engaged.
- Show picture books: Using picture books are a great way to educate children. Children enjoy brightly coloured picture books and we can use them to teach the alphabet, the names of animals, fruits, vegetables, etcetera. Simply, point to an image and ask them what it is, where it is, and so on. Finally, allow them to look at the different pictures and identify the objects on their own to check if they have understood what they have learnt.
- Using stories: Reading short stories to children are an easy way to teach English. It helps them to learn the language quickly and also improves their reading and listening skills.
- Using songs: The internet is a place of wonders. There are songs and videos for every purpose. These songs use actions to demonstrate the meaning of the song. These are helpful while teaching children as they learn these actions that in turn help them understand its context.
- Playing games: It is a known fact that children learn better and faster when they are having fun. Hence, involving them in games is the best way for them to learn English. Creating flashcards or playing games like Pictionary, Scrabble or Crossword can help them learn the language easier.
- Using everyday situations: Having discussions about the everyday situations and events allows the process of language learning much easier. This allows the children to become fluent in the language as they can communicate quickly about anything because of the speaking practice. Hence, it is important to encourage children to speak in English and also introducing them to the things around them right from the start.
- Using cartoons: Learning should always be entertaining and exciting. Children have a very short span of attention and can easily get distracted. Introducing children to cartoons is an easy way to learn English as they are not only fun to watch but also they can pick up words quickly from these cartoons and improve English pronunciation.
Teaching anything at a young age has its own benefits. And it is relatively easy to learn English when it is taught the right way. One way to do that is by keeping things diverse and exciting. Make conversation in English a natural habit within the household and give them lots of time to understand and practice. When they make a mistake, always use positive reinforcement. It is important to create a pleasant learning atmosphere by praising them often, even when they make mistakes. Continue to motivate them. Slowly but steadily, the child will begin to develop the understanding of the language and begin to experience it and express his/her own thoughts. Whatever the approach is, the most important thing is to relax, have fun and make English language learning a fun experience for you and your children.