Developing the ability to express ourselves in another language at a young age is something that makes us self-assured individuals who have good communication skills as adults. We share some suggestions that might be useful for those of you interested in having your children learn English.
English is no longer seen as a second language. These days, it is considered a universal language. That’s why it’s important for children to learn it at a young age. Childhood is a time when all our sensory organs are operating at a heightened level of perceptivity, making it the best period to start learning a language. As adults, we might have missed that chance to learn another language more easily during our formative years. But it’s not too late for our children. In this article, we discuss the steps you can take to ensure that your children get the most out of this stage of their lives by learning English early on.
1. Don’t Settle for Less
Our first suggestion would be to not settle for less. What we mean by “less” is the number of English lessons offered by your child’s school. Most public schools only offer a couple of English classes a week. Lessons are usually not even an hour long; they last around 40 minutes. If we consider the time it takes for the teacher to arrive to class, take attendance and get started, we see that what the lesson consists of is even less. Children forget most of what they learned in class in the span of a week, so a portion of next week’s classes is spent on repeating old information.
Overall, we think how productively your children’s English lessons are spent is just as important as how frequent and long they are. This is where well-thought-out lesson plans and teacher skills come into play. For instance, your child would probably really enjoy 10 hours of English lessons a week that consist only of singing songs and drawing pictures, and you would likely notice how happy they are with their classes right away. Yes, that’s a positive thing. But we also have to question how efficient the lessons are in improving your child’s English competency level. After all, even though your child might like singing songs in English, what’s more important is how well they can understand and express what the songs mean.
So what can you do to not settle for less? You can arrange for your children to take private English lessons within your means, or you can have them attend the extra classes offered by their school as a way to support their learning. What matters most is ensuring that they’re interacting with the language as frequently as possible. Private lessons will undoubtedly be the most personalized and effective path to learning. We can compare taking private lessons to getting from point A to point B by taxi rather than by public transport. Private lessons are flexible and can be geared towards the specific areas your child needs to improve in. That means that lesson time is not wasted on things your child already knows.
English courses offered by schools make slower progress. But as group interaction increases students’ motivation, they are not without their advantages either. It’s important to be just as selective in picking an English course for your child as you would be in choosing a tutor for private lessons. You should look at references, read comments and testimonials online and insist on trial lessons in the beginning of the process. Bear in mind that the course closest to your home might not always be the best option for you. And if a course is offering a deal that seems too good to be true, that might just be the case. Opt for courses and tutors you find through research rather than ones that vie for your attention. Remember, a good business doesn’t seek customers, it attracts them.
2. Don’t Go with the Flow
The advice that’s usually given to people is to go with the flow. But our advice in terms of scheduling your children’s daily activities would be to do the opposite. Children can get easily distracted when left to their own devices. They are young after all. It’s natural for them to want to spend their time with as many fun activities as possible. If it were up to them, they would probably put studying off to be on their tablets, phones, or computers. That’s why it’s important for parents to be in control of the course of their children’s daily schedules. We suggest that parents make sure their children study for all their classes. But they should take extra care to ensure that they work on their English at home as regular practice is crucial to learning a new language.
We often hear the question: “How many English lessons would I need to take a week to be able to learn English by the time I want?” The response is always the same: “That’s not the way to learn a language”. If a person only works on their English during class and doesn’t practice on their own, they won’t be able to further their language skills. To see a real change, one needs to spend just as much time practicing the language as they do learning in class, if not more. What’s more, this practice should be done the same day the new information was learned in class, when everything is fresh in our minds. You and your children can go over what they learned in class together. This way, you’ll be able to see how much of the lesson they were able to follow. Even if you have no English knowledge, you can observe your children’s progress by checking the answer sheet for the right answers to their homework questions. You could do a run-through of the vocabulary they need to memorize as a motivating exercise.
3. Subscribe to Cambly Kids
It’s important that your child sees English as not just another class they have to pass, but a tool that will open up doors for them in the future. English is not like other subjects taught in schools. It’s a universal language that’s actively used in everyday life which brings people from different cultural backgrounds together. That’s why it’s well advised to spend as much time speaking the language as one would learning grammar. But how, where and with whose assistance? Take it from us. Telling your child to “go practice their English with the tourists over there” won’t be enough to help them develop their speaking skills. In fact, putting your child on the spot like that will probably embarrass them and make them forget what they’ve learned.
Cambly Kids helps encourage your children to become confident English speakers by giving them all the necessary tools to improve their language skills. Cambly Kids employs tutors with pedagogic backgrounds who are native English speakers. These tutors are skilled at creating a fun and encouraging learning environment. Children learn grammar step by step, improve their vocabulary, and become more eloquent speakers. Being able to express themselves in a second language improves children’s communication skills overall and builds their confidence.
Cambly Kids is suitable for children aged 4-15. Parents who wish to keep an eye on their child’s progress are able to sit in on classes. All lessons are recorded to make it easier for students to go over what was taught in class. You can download the recordings on your computer and watch them at any time you wish.
To invest in your child’s future by helping them learn English with Cambly, you can go to www.cambly.com/kids and subscribe.
To sum things up, play an active role in your child’s education. Don’t go with the flow; help them practice and study. Remember the proverb: From little seeds grow mighty trees. Our early years may be behind us but it’s not too late for our children to learn English in their prime.
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