3 Ways To Learn Daily Casual English at Home
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nicole H. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. TV and Video Resources
One way parents can help their children learn English at home to let them watch television or movies. It may seem to counterproductive to have your child study using entertainment but I believe it's a great, casual learning tool. Find a show or movie that your child really likes and watches often in their target language. In this case, it would be English. It should also have subtitles in their native language so that they can follow along. I find that Disney movies and American cartoons are the easiest to find translated into a variety of languages. This resource is particularly good for listening and speaking skills. While they are watching the television show, they are hearing their target language being spoken and, whether they are truly paying attention to it or not, it will help improve their listening skills if they are continuously exposed to hearing English. It can also help with pronunciation because they will hear the words said by an English speaking voice actor and dialogue is often exaggerated in cartoons. The vocabulary is aimed more towards children so it is more likely that they will understand what is being said and because it is something attention-grabbing and entertaining, they are less reluctant to do it than study flashcards for example.
2. Labeling Objects
Another method they can try is one I did personally when I lived in my college dorm. Mark things in your house using their English words. Labels, sticky notes, index cards taped to objects. Anything will do just as long as they are visible and easy to read. Using English vocabulary from the child's school books would be the most relevant but they can use whatever type of vocabulary they want as long as it is within the child's current English level. When using this method, they can ask their children to read the English word out loud. What I did when using this method to help learn Japanese vocabulary, I had a roommate, who knew a few words of Japanese, to ask me to get things for them around the apartment only in Japanese. It was hard for the first few days but it was very helpful. An additional benefit was that my other roommates started to pick on the vocabulary words as well by the end of the semester. I like this method because, even if the child isn't consciously working on their reading or speaking skills every time they see the English vocabulary labels, they will subconsciously begin to associate the English word with the object it is attached to.
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3. Ask Your Child to be a Teacher to You
The last method I recommend parents try when they are helping their children with English is having their children teach them. Parents should ask their children what they learned in their English class and ask the child to teach them what they learned that day. They might not remember all of the lessons or the fine details of certain vocabulary or grammar items, but the at-home review will help make sure they memorize the lesson while pointing out the things they have forgotten or might have trouble with. Additionally, it helps the parents understand what their child is doing and class and make it easier to help them with any homework or assignments. It's also a great way to spend extra time bonding with their children while helping their children cement their English knowledge.
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