Although it’s compulsory to learn English as a second language in school, not all parents are able to fully support their children in this.
However, it’s important that parents can sit with their children and help them with their English homework – especially from a young age. This will give them a boost when they are in their English classes.
When it comes to learning English, revision is vital. But children need the help of their parent’s to focus and comprehend what has been set for them from English classes.
Parents may never have had the chance to have English lessons or have simply forgotten what they learnt.
Considering children begin their English education from age four, it can be a good time for parents to start learning at the same time.
Young children need lots of encouragement and feedback. Parents can start their own English education by at least understanding what their child is saying.
Learning together can be a powerful way to boost your own learning progression.
This can be achieved by hiring an English tutor who specialises in English for beginners.
Are you after an English for beginners course? Superprof is the best way to find an English tutor who can help accelerate your learning.
Learn at the Same Pace as Your Child
It doesn’t take much to keep up with your child’s progress but if you can’t speak or read English it can be difficult. When it comes to children learning, parents are a vital ingredient. Even though they aren’t involved in the day-to-day activities in the classroom, they can be there for them at homework time.
Learning at the same pace as your child is a great opportunity to improve your English and support your child.
But it will also benefit your life in other areas. Learning English can help you with simple things around the house like using the computer and responding to your child's teachers.
When it comes to learning English in school, children start with basic English grammar rules. This is a great time to jump in too and start with the foundations of English.
Start an English Conversation With Your Child
If children don’t have anyone to speak English with at home, they tend to focus on only writing in English.
While writing is an important part of homework, practising orally is an important aspect of the learning process.
For children to become bilingual, parents should speak to their child in both languages. Also, encourage your children to sing and play using their first and second languages.
Children who speak more than one language are flexible learners, have better memories and problem-solving skills.
To ensure neither language is neglected plan to set aside separate time to speak in both languages.
Role reversal: Let Your Child Teach You
Learning from your child can be a powerful method for both parties. Children who explain and revise what they learned at school are reinforcing their knowledge while simultaneously teaching their parents.
If your child is having trouble explaining what they learned at school, this is a great way to flag they are having trouble comprehending. The parent can then follow this up by focussing on their weaknesses and reporting this back to the teacher.
Avoid Translating English Word-for-Word
English is full of its own idiomatic expressions.
It can be impossible to translate phrases word for word – doing so can lose the meaning of what you’re trying to get communicated.
For example, in French, “tu rigoles” translates as “you must be joking”, even though the word-for-word translation would be “you laugh”.
There are clearly many visual differences between these two sentences such as the number of words and the addition of ‘must’ which represents obligation – which is not there in French.
Adults and children learn quite differently. Adults can be too logical in their approach and too literal when it comes to translation.
So children learn to express themselves more spontaneously in their second language, teachers will often encourage children to think in English.
There are plenty of ways to make learning English fun. Teachers can sprinkle lessons with entertaining words and phrases such as tongue twisters, jokes and puns. By incorporating these amusing aspects of the English language children will become more engaged and relaxed about learning.
The Power of Music
Music can have a big impact on your child’s development. Exposing them to music is one of the many ways of learning English by helping them learn the meaning of words.
And without a doubt, your child will know and have a favourite song in the English language.
Listening to English music is a great way to learn English. Play music at home and ask your child what they think the song means.
Even if they don’t know all the words, they probably have a pretty decent understanding of the main words and phrases.
Meet With Your Child's English Teacher
Setting up a meeting with your child’s English teacher will give you insight into how your child is progressing. But it can also give you a clear understanding of how you can support and aid your child at home.
Don’t worry if you feel nervous about meeting up with the English teacher. Just go in with a positive attitude and they will be receptive. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.
Go prepared with questions. If there are any particular areas of concern make sure you reveal them to the teacher. They will be more than willing to help you help your child.
Ask the teacher for recommendations on how you can support your child, and learn alongside them, at home. Teachers are well resourced and can easily suggest further textbooks, learning aids, websites and apps to learn from.
But whatever you do, don’t leave the meeting without feedback and a plan.
Seek Out ESL Learning Resources
Learning to communicate in English can benefit so many areas of your life. But if you’re concerned about how long it will take to learn English read this article.
One of the best ways to support an English learner is to give them a preview of the work before they actually work on it.
But to help your child at home, seek out further resources to work on in-between sessions with their English tutor.
This will help your child work through any difficulties they are having until they fully grasp them.
No what degree of English your child has, there are plenty of additional resources to suit all levels. From pre-schoolers to high school students, you can easily find English reading materials online.
Google ESL learning resources and your screen will be flooded with plenty of options. Go for at-home exercises that come with explanations to make it easy for non-English speaking parents.
Don’t neglect to tap into the local culture via magazines, newspapers and community centres. It can give children an insight into the anglophone culture and its traditions while enriching their knowledge of English.
Finding the Right Online English Course For Parents
As the saying goes, it takes a village to look after a child, and learning is no different. The group effort must come from the student, the parent and English tutor. Do your research and choose the perfect English teacher.
If you want to engage with the world successfully, being able to confidently communicate orally in English as well as being an effective writer is the answer.
Nothing feels better than being able to help and support your child in whatever they endeavour including learning English. Parents can do this by signing up for evening courses or online tutoring – both effective ways of learning English.