How to Spark It

Fri, 26 Feb, 2021

Teaching English to Kids: Powerful Tips for Parents for Impressive Results

Teaching English to Kids

Language is intangible and very abstract. On the other hand, children are concrete and very literal. This makes it challenging to teach English and explain grammar to children. Moreover, teaching English to very young children with much shorter attention spans is an overwhelming experience. But if you embrace a few essentials, you are more likely to end up having a cherishing experience.

Here are a few tips for teaching kids to speak English:

1. Make It Fun

Fun is one factor that really matters to children. So, you got to hide the academics well beneath a thick layer of fun. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

Games-Based Learning

Games are a great way to make learning fun. Games not only bring out the competitive side of the child, but they also give them a goal to accomplish. When they win the game, they feel accomplished and good about success. Here are a few super fun games you can try at home with little or no preparation:

  • Simon Says: The game is a classic and is great for practicing listening skills. For example, you can use this game to teach body parts (“Simon says, touch your cheek.”).

  • Memory: This game is excellent for learning vocabulary. Put the vocabulary word on one card and a picture describing that word on the other card. You can also put synonyms and antonyms. Place these cards on the table and ask your child to match. The child has to remember where the matches are.

  • Mother May I: In this simple game, children use all sorts of adjectives to describe the types of steps they would like to take as they reach the other side of the playing area.

2. Explore the Outside

You’d be surprised to know that children learn a great deal when they learn in the outdoors. Here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Treasure Hunt: You can send your child outside with clues, based on content or grammar, to solve. Each clue should lead them to another. Once they get all the clues, discuss them and their solutions.

  • Scavenger Hunt: Send your children on a scavenger hunt. Tailor the items they are hunting to whatever you are in the process of teaching. For example, you have taught them the colours of the rainbow. You can shave them look for different colours of the rainbow in the scavenger hunt.

3. Unleash the Creativity

Every child is an artist. Pablo Picasso believed that, so, you can, too!

Most children love to make colourful things. You can use this quality to your advantage by including art to teach English to your kids. Some of the things you can consider are:

  • Cooking: Cooking involves all five senses. As you cook with your child, talk about the five senses. Don’t forget to talk about the process of cooking. When you instruct your child as they help you with the cooking, you cover essential grammar topics like cause and effect relationships, imperative statements and transition between steps.

  • Collages: Collages are great for children to learn prepositions of location. Make your child work with a collage as you give instructions on where to place different items or allow them to tell you what they are doing and where they are putting their items.

4. Keep Them Moving

The more the children move, the better and faster they understand and retain what you are teaching.

Some of the games ideas to get them active are:

  • Mystery Bags: Put items in a brown paper bag and tell your child to reach into the bag and describe the item they are touching without looking at it.

  • Small World Play: Collect the animal figures mentioned in the book you are currently reading to your child. Allow your child to retell the story using those animal figures.

  • Jenga Discussion: Write questions on Jenga blocks. The child has to answer the Jenga block question that they pull out when playing the game.

How to Build Your Child’s Vocabulary?

  • Talk to Your Children Often

A young child is like a sponge; therefore, it is essential that you get them interested in the language early on. Your interaction with your child in the early years is one of the most significant factors that influence your child’s vocabulary. So, talk to them and introduce them to new words at every opportunity you get. For example, you can name the objects, use number words, explain the emotions, etc. The more words they know and understand, the more they will use them accurately.

  • Read Together

Make reading a routine activity. Create a slot for it every day. Continue reading to them even when they can read independently; children love to hear stories. If you get the opportunity, accompany the words you read with gestures, actions, or facial expressions. This will help your child understand the meaning of the words and build their vocabulary. 

Also, use the dedicated reading time to read books and recognize your child’s interest and then find books that they can relate to. This will help them cultivate a love for reading.

  • Introduce a word of the day concept

By introducing the concept of learning a new word every day, you will help your child learn 365 or 366 words in a year. In this activity, you can also involve the other family members. Ensure that your child knows the meaning of the word they learn, and they use it on their own when writing or speaking.

  • Play word games with them

Playing with your child is crucial to developing communication skills. Games make learning fun, exciting and interactive. There is a huge range of word games that can help your child learn new words. With the help of these games, your child will learn to talk in full sentences, make new sounds and ask questions, making their interactions with others very useful.

  • Encourage your child to read and write on their own

Studies have shown that 20% of our vocabulary comes from reading and writing. This also promotes regular and correct use of new words. So, get your children to read books. Encourage the habit of looking up for the meaning of new words in the dictionary.

PlanetSpark uses fun and interactive methods to get your child excited about learning English.

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