A lot of parents want their children to learn English at home these days. But some might not be sure about how to start this process. We recommend that you begin your child’s at-home language education by including English in their daily activities. Everyday routine plays an important role in young children’s lives. Make sure to introduce your child to English through short, frequent, and fun activities so they form a positive relationship with language learning. These activities should take place at the same time each day to give your child a sense of security. For instance, if you decide to read an English story together every day, always read it before bedtime. Or, if you decide to watch an English cartoon as a learning exercise, watch it at a specific time of the day. Let’s take a look at the types of activities you can plan to include English in your child’s routine.
1. Playing Games
Children love playing games! So why not play games with them in English? Games ensure that children learn English in a fun and long-lasting way. You can play a game with flashcards to expand your child’s vocabulary and improve their pronunciation of English words. You can play the telephone game. Or you can opt for picture charades and have your child draw pictures of words in English. By introducing English into your child’s life through play, you’ll ensure that they learn the language organically and at their own pace.
2. Watching Cartoons
All kids love cartoons, especially those who are at a preschool age. You can include English in this fun pastime to further your children’s language education. Cartoons use age-appropriate language that’s easy for children to understand. By having your child watch cartoons in English, you ensure that they come into contact with the language on a daily basis and acquire a solid foundation of knowledge that they can develop in later years. We all know how cartoons glue kids to the screen, so this will be a fun way for your child to learn English as it’s spoken in everyday life. Most cartoons are as educational as they are entertaining. You can choose cartoons with informative storylines for your children to watch, so they learn more than just English and acquire some knowledge about nature, science, and the arts, for instance. By introducing English-speaking cartoons into your children’s lives, you’ll ensure that they familiarize themselves with the language in a way that makes further education much easier for them.
3. Reading Children’s Books
Illustrated children’s books unlock children’s imaginative abilities, strengthen their communication skills, and introduce them to different cultures. Why not read those books in English as a way to improve your child’s language skills? This fun activity will ensure your child gets into the habit of reading early on and learns English at the same time. Bear in mind that it’s important to set a routine for this practice. For instance, you could read to your child in English at bedtime one night, and in their own language another. What matters most is that you set a schedule and stick to it. By asking your child questions like, “On which days would you like to read in English?” or “What book would you like to read today?” you can make your child feel even more included in this activity. You can show them the illustrations in the books to help them understand what the words in the stories mean. This will develop their English skills even further. After a while, you can start to ask them questions like “What is that?” or “Where is the cat?” and help them learn English through interactive conversations. Listening to you read them stories in English will help your children get acquainted with the sounds and vocabulary of the English language. This will allow their reading, writing, and speaking skills to develop early on.
4. Keeping a Diary
Did you know that keeping a diary in English can improve your child’s language skills exponentially? If your child doesn’t have a diary, you can suggest they start one in English. Keeping a diary in English at a young age develops children’s ability to think in that language. Writing about their everyday lives will encourage them to look up words in English, improving their vocabulary. What’s more, this will gradually help them learn English grammar. Developing a writing practice in English ensures that children learn the language in a long-lasting way. That’s why we recommend you encourage your child to keep a diary in English.
5. Listening to Songs
Listening to English songs is a great way to introduce your children to new vocabulary and their correct pronunciations. Songs that are written specifically for children usually include choreography that describes the meaning of English words through movement. So even if your child finds it difficult to sing along, they can join in dance and improve their vocabulary. English songs reflect the culture of English-speaking countries and the mindset and lifestyle of native English-speaking people. Listening to these songs will introduce your child to the world that surrounds the language. This will help them relate to native speakers and communicate with them with more ease.
6. Practicing Speaking
When it comes down to it, practicing speaking the language is the only way for your child to really improve their English skills. Learning grammar and vocabulary are key parts of their education, but without practicing their speaking, most of the new information they acquire won’t be long-lasting. Kids who speak English regularly develop the ability to think in English and learn correct pronunciation early on. If you’d like your kids to speak English as part of their daily routine, you should consider signing up to Cambly Kids!
With Cambly Kids, your children can learn English through conversation in online lessons with tutors who are native speakers of the language. Our program offers parents the chance to create their children’s lesson plan themselves, and to book their lessons on days and times that suit their schedules. Learning English from a native speaker will help your children learn pronunciation and make progress faster. Subscribe to Cambly Kids so your child can make use of the various fun opportunities we offer for them to learn English. Click here to learn about our programs and meet our tutors!