Today, the need for proficiency in English language is increasingly becoming a basic requirement in the global arena. Acquiring a command over the English language is the hallmark of an educated person. English being an important means of communication, it is of crucial importance to help your child with English.
The primary years are the most critical years of learning, wherein the parents and teachers have an important part to play. When the partnership between the parent and the teacher is strong, it simplifies the child’s learning process and enables him to effectively develop skills in the use of English.
Let us examine some strategic ways how you can help your child with English:
~ Create an enriched environment
A child’s learning ability to acquire language largely depends on his environment at home and school and the opportunities he has therein. As parents, it is up to you to provide your child with an enriched learning environment. Your child can learn easily through direct first-hand experiences when provided with varied opportunities through triple aids-visual, auditory and kinesthetic which provides variety through seeing, hearing and doing.
The child’s exposure to this kind of enriched environment can shape the way he learns the English language. It could develop in him a keen sense of perception, feelings and enhance his ability to communicate.
Good verbal communication is the key element in helping your child with English. Communicating through words enables the child to imbibe the skills of social inter-action. As your child becomes adept at expressing his ideas in a clear manner, it helps him to socialize with others while simultaneously understanding the ideas of others when expressed in English.
Engaging daily in this give and take conversations in varied ways like by narrating events, following directions, stories and questions, can be most helpful in developing your child’s skills in English usage. Regular conversation builds the child’s vocabulary and accelerates the understanding of English.
~ Read aloud
Parents can create an interest in reading to their child by daily reading to him story books in English. Initiate the habit and love of reading in your child by helping him to make good use of a variety of interesting books-books that are sure to hold his attention. Reading together not only helps to build the child’s understanding of English, but also is a vital aid in expanding his vocabulary.
Guided reading is indeed very helpful; it entails reading slowly with your child, finger-pointing each word that you read from left to right while you patiently help the child in this process.
~ Listen attentively
Listening is an unspoken element of communication; it shows that you are interested in what your child is saying. Listening attentively can encourage your child to make a concentrated effort to talk in English as far as possible. You can help your child to actively participate in what is being discussed by asking open-ended questions; this will help your child to use new words to express his feelings and mood.
But it is imperative that you wait patiently while your child is in the process of formulating his response. This approach also helps to build your child’s trust in you and in your good intentions. By consistently following this strategy, you can significantly help your child with English.
It is important that parents set realistic goals for their child while helping him with English. It would be helpful to your child if you stress more on the purpose of his learning than merely on his performance. Initially, you would have to be patient-allowing your child plenty of space to move ahead one step at a time in accordance to his own pace and potential level.
Avoid rushing your child in your eagerness to help him with English. Once your child realizes how rich the English language is, your child would be more than happy to do all he can to master the language. By building a vast repertoire of vocabulary of expressive words, your child could soon help your child to acquire proficiency in the English language.
Source: Teaching without Tears-Mind and Work Series by Arty Pereira