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HOW TO ENCOURAGE CHILDREN TO SPEAK ENGLISH AT AN EARLY AGE
Some children may find it a challenge to speak English. Some of them are shy while others don’t wish to make any mistakes. You can help your child feel more confident by creating a positive and encouraging atmosphere at home. They will also have more chances of being successful in their learning when teachers and parents work together.
Everything you do with your child during the day could be used as an opportunity to improve their English learning. It’s important to let them know that making mistakes is normal and an important part of learning a language. Everyone makes mistakes at times, as that’s how we learn. But don’t pressure them or show disappointment if your child is not ready to speak yet.
How can we practise English in a stress-free way? Here are some tips to develop your child’s confidence:
- Don’t pressure your child to give longer answers. Saying just one word is fine, if that’s all they can say for the moment.
- Look relaxed so your child knows that you’re happy with what they are saying even though it is just short sentences.
- Don’t interrupt or let anyone else interrupt when your child is speaking.
- Remember ‘mistakes’ for later. Don’t stop your child when they’re speaking. If you stop to correct, it is hard to build up spoken fluency and can be bad for confidence.
- Give them opportunities to use vocabulary and phrases that they already know well.
- Keep speaking activities fun and not too long. For example, ask your child to tell you some of the things they see during car journeys. As example: That car’s red! I can see three buses! Accept mistakes. The important thing is for your child to say English words without worrying.
Above all, don’t make a big thing out of your child’s silence. Help, encourage and always be positive. Talk about it and reassure them that you are there to help them become more confident.
Furthermore, incorporating creative activities into language learning can make it easier for young children to pick up new languages. Consider your child’s favourite pastimes and try incorporating them into English language activities. Some examples include singing, playing games, reading books aloud and engaging in role-playing exercises.
In conclusion, we understand that many parents want to teach their children English at home but are unclear where to begin. It doesn’t matter if your own English is not perfect. The most important thing is that you are enthusiastic and that you give your children lots of encouragement and praise. Your child will pick up on your enthusiasm for the language. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t start speaking English immediately. They will need a certain amount of time to absorb the language. Be patient, and they will begin to speak English in their own time.
Are you looking for a learning centre where your child can learn English? Kumon offers two English programmes: English as a Native Language (EE) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Locate your nearest Kumon centre at https://kumonmalaysia.com/find-a-centre and get in touch with our instructor for more information.