How do I start teaching my children English at home?
In countries where English is not the native language, many parents wish to start teaching their children English from an early developmental stage considering its significance in every sphere of life.
Studies have shown that, children generally have more chance of being successful with their learning process when parents and teachers work together.
Home Schooling – What are the benefits of teaching children at home?
There are numerous benefits to teaching children English at home, including:
- Better school results and academic achievements;
- Higher exposure to the target language;
- Developing a habit of speaking in English;
- Flexibility of mind, enhanced creativity, better memory, critical thinking and problem solving skills;
- Cultural enrichment.
How can a parent teach the child effectively and where does one start?
The best answer to this is to start with oneself – enrol on a TEFL course
One can qualify to teach English at home with us. Our TEFL courses have been designed by experienced teachers to give you an outstanding grounding in English grammar and TEFL methodology, subsequently getting TEFL qualified in the convenient way possible. Our online TEFL courses are self-paced and adaptable, so you can easily fit study around your life in a way that works best for you and your schedule.
What will you learn in our TEFL course?
Thanks to our TEFL course you will be able to:
- teach the four essential areas of English language acquisition: reading, speaking, writing, listening;
- plan and conduct effective lessons that meet the individual learning objectives of your child;
- understand the nuances of teaching English to children;
- grasp English grammar terminology and how to effectively teach it at various levels;
- find and create effective learning resources, both text-based and digital to target language use;
- manage your child’s behaviour effectively;
Home Schooling – What else can you do to make teaching effective?
You don’t have to speak English perfectly, the most important thing is that you are enthusiastic and that you offer your children encouragement and praise. Your child will definitely pick up on your interest in the language.
Consider your child’s interests and personality when deciding which subjects to teach, and let your child help you to choose.
Be patient – it always takes a certain amount of time to absorb the language, so don’t worry if your child doesn’t start speaking English immediately.
Establishing a daily routine
Establishing a fixed routine for teaching English time at home is vital – it is better to have short and frequent sessions (15- 20 minutes of English is enough for a very young child). Language sessions can gradually become longer and longer as your child becomes older and their concentration span increases. Activities should be short and diversified in order to keep and maintain your child’s attention.
Try to do certain activities at the same time every day, since children feel more comfortable and confident when they know what to expect. Repetition is vital – children often need to hear words and phrases many times before they feel ready to repeat and adapt them for themselves.
If there is some space at home, you can organise an English corner with everything connected to English, for instance books, games, DVDs, pictures.
Everything you do with your child during your day to day routine could be used as an opportunity to improve their English vocabulary and overall knowledge.
Apply English in everyday life
The major advantage of teaching English at home is that you can implement teaching methodology using a plethora of everyday situations and real objects from around the house to practise and develop the language naturally and in a wide variety of real world contexts. For example, you can:
- Teach food vocabulary while cooking or going shopping. Give your child a list of things to find when you go to the supermarket (use pictures or words depending on their age). Revise the vocabulary when you put the shopping away at home.
- Practise vocabulary for furniture and toys when you are helping your child to tidy their room.
- Talk about clothes when your child is getting dressed, or when you are doing the laundry.
Each child has an instinct that drives them to learn in a natural way. To facilitate their language learning process, let them play in it. Apply teaching techniques when they play games and let them play in English.
A great way to encourage the child’s interest in learning the language is through games with visual aids. Flashcards with pictures can help expand their vocabulary range. Memory and flashcard games can serve the same purpose too.
There are different types of games you can play with your children to help them practise English, for instance board games (Snakes and ladders), action games (Simon says, Charades), word games (Hangman).
Younger children love books with attractive illustrations and bright colours. You can look at the pictures together and pronounce the words as you point at the pictures. You can also ask your child to point to different things and encourage them to say the words by asking What’s that?. Listening to stories will help your child to get used to the sounds and rhythms of English.
Songs are a really effective way to learn new vocabulary and improve pronunciation because they contain authentic language, provide grammar and cultural aspects.
Songs with actions are particularly good for very young children as they are able to join in even if they are not yet able to sing the song. The actions demonstrate the meaning of the words in the song.
With younger learners, there is no need to explicitly explain grammar rules, but instead get them used to hearing and using different grammatical structures in a real- word context, for instance must/mustn’t when you are talking about school rulesor have got when talking about appearance. Hearing the grammar being used in context from an early age will help your child to use it naturally and correctly when they are older.
For older children, you can use grammar sections, videos, quizzes and games help children to learn in a relaxed environment.
It can be very useful for older children to teach their siblings or other family members. Explaining how to use grammar to someone else helps you to master it yourself.