Is your child struggling with English? Or maybe you want to get a head start on their fluency so that they don’t struggle when they reach school age. Whatever your reasons for wanting to improve their language skills, here are just a few tips for helping them speak like a native.
1. Utilize English-Language Media
Most children don’t have patience for anything resembling homework, so instead of forcing them to look through flashcards or memorize vocabulary lists, let them learn English in a fun way. For example, allow them to watch English-language cartoons with subtitles in your mother tongue. Find translated versions of their favorite books or songs.
2. Immerse Them in the Language
Immersion is a tried-and-true language technique. It might be a bit difficult for very young children who don’t understand why the people around them refuse to speak their language, but for children who are old enough to understand the purpose of the exercise, it can be a great environment for improving their skills.
3. Sign Them Up for Summer Camp
An ESL camp might be just what your child needs to gain confidence in their English-speaking ability. They won’t be the only person around who’s struggling with vocabulary and grammar; other kids their age will be there to help, guide and commiserate with them. Not only will they see progress with their fluency, but they might just come out of the camp with new friends, too.
4. Focus on Specific Cultures
Many different countries speak English, so don’t feel like you have to drill “American culture” into your child’s head. If they prefer to explore the fun, food and fashion of a different English-speaking country, let them follow their interests. Trying to stifle them will only drive them away from an excellent language-learning opportunity.
These are just a few ways to help your child improve their English. There are many more, of course, so don’t feel limited by these suggestions. If you want to raise your child into fluency, you’ll probably need a lot of different methods to make a real impact on their skills.