The task of teaching English to non-native children at home is not as difficult as it may seem. You can teach your kids English using simple and easy-to-follow tips to help them become well-attuned to the language.
It is imperative to note, however, that no strategy would work if children lack interest in learning English.
Evidently, having a positive attitude towards learning a new language is a significant factor in achieving linguistic competence.
Thus, helping your child develop an enthusiasm for learning English at home is key to fast-tracking his progress.
5 Proven Tips to Teach English Effectively to Non-English Speaking Children
1. Map out a plan to get the best results
- Know your child’s likes and dislikes.
Get to know the activities your child enjoys the most and try to merge his interests with his English learning.
For example, my 6-year-old nephew loves to help out around the house. So asking him to do age-appropriate chores in English will be effective in helping him become well-attuned to the language.
Does your child love to dance? Give him instructions in English on how to do the dance steps. For example, “ Step forward with your left foot, move to the right, or lean your body down.”
2. Be aware of their attention span.
Children’s attention span is significantly shorter than adults, so avoid giving your kids activities that take longer than 20 minutes to accomplish.
3. Keep it simple.
Please do not overwhelm your kids with difficult terms because it’s a surefire way to dampen their enthusiasm for learning the language.
Kids love to win, and if they consistently fail to give the correct response, they will lose their confidence and interest.
3. Fun activities.
- English songs for kids
Songs are a mnemonic device for new and unfamiliar vocabulary. Youtube is a treasure trove of many song ideas you can incorporate into your teaching strategy.
The rhythms and the repetitive pattern within the song will enable kids to memorize words without exerting much effort.
Put together a playlist of songs that your child loves to listen to, and play them regularly until he becomes well-acquainted with unfamiliar terms.
- Short plays for kids
Interactive exercises that put active listening skills into practice will help kids have a better grasp of the English language.
One of the ways to implement this is by staging or directing short plays and skits for kids at home.
You can also read one of his favorite storybooks and ask your child to repeat the words or phrases before he acts out the scene. You can do this in bed so he will not fall onto or against hard and rough surfaces.
Example: The frog leaps into the pond, splash! Silence again! [This is a Haiku, by the way]
4. Use everyday activities to effectively teach English to non-native children.
Use everyday situations in the house as an opportunity to teach English to your kids. Everyday activities, such as fixing the bed in the morning, brushing their teeth, eating their breakfast, etc.
“ Please make your bed before you come down for breakfast.”
“ Drink your glass of milk.”
“ Can you hand me the towel, please?”
5. Reading aloud to your kids is an effective way to build comprehension and improve pronunciation
Encourage your child to read out loud a favorite adventure story. Pronouncing the words will help him learn how to sound out the words correctly.
In the beginning, he should repeat the words after you. Do not scold him for mispronouncing words; otherwise, his confidence will plummet even further as he commits one mistake after another.
We need to be patient. Instead of reprimanding your child, repeat the words he tends to mispronounce.
He will eventually learn how to pronounce the words in due time.
Incorporate unfamiliar terms and commonly mispronounced words in your everyday conversation with him, but don’t set your expectations too high.
Be cognizant of the fact that the ability to sound out words properly comes with age. Kids tend to mispronounce certain letters, such as the letters R and S.
6. Nurture a love of reading
Reading an amusing story is nothing short of feeling magically transported to an imaginary world that will keep their eyes glued to the book till the end.
Choose children’s storybooks that enchant, delight, and captivate your little ones’ imaginations to motivate them to read more often.
Learning English will then become second nature to them as the joy of reading will prod them to understand the language in which their favorite stories are written.
To top it all off, reading will also help enhance their brain activity, improve comprehension and develop their creative or thinking skills.
Teaching English to a non-native-speaking child at home doesn’t have to feel like a tedious chore. Strive for creativity and spontaneity in your daily interactions with your child to create a positive learning environment.
A conducive learning environment will make it easier for a child to learn English much more quickly.
And should you be diligent in following the tips and strategies for honing your child’s language skills, you will see a marked improvement in his English proficiency level in due time.