Parents and Teachers Teaming Up
When talking about children’s education in ESL classrooms there is a lot of courses and resources available for teachers to get trained, skilled and qualified to promote and guarantee a good learning experience for younger learners. On the other hand, not so much is available for parents to do the same hence most of them are not aware of how they can help ESL teachers. The good news is that not only they can help but their help is essential to improve their child’s language skills. Moreover, this essay will suggest three different ways that children’s parents can help an ESL teacher to achieve the best performance for their child.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Vanessa C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Challenge and Engagement
First, a very effective way that parents can cooperate is by engaging and challenging their children. For instance, engaging the child to do his or her homework, implementing reading time with books in English, setting up videos in English for them to see, if parents allow the use of phones and tablets some educational apps in English can teach and engage the child in the new language as well. Parents can also challenge their child by working vocabulary they are learning, let’s say it is breakfast then mom or dad can challenge their child to name things around them so that they get familiar with the language. They can do the same when it is lunch, dinner or any other activity that they are doing together. These are the way to engage children to incorporate the new language they are learning in the real world. Teachers can also update parents with the vocabulary they are working in class so that parents can help their child at home to memorize those new words. All of that will stimulate and speed their learning process.
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Observations in Class
Second, caregivers must observe and share with teachers the child's behavior related to participation and involvement in the English language outside of the classroom. For instance, if there is any particular vocabulary that the child reveals to like more or less if during homework there was any activity that the child struggled with it, which of the four skills (reading, speaking, listening and writing) the child does better. These tips can be very useful because during class teachers have more than one child to observe which makes it difficult for them to fully evaluate individual performance. Therefore, parents’ input is very helpful for teachers as they will be able to focus on that child's strengths and weaknesses and plan the class according to that. It is also relevant for parents to share if their child is facing any emotional distress at home since that can disrupt their cognitive skills such as attention and focus during the class. For instance, if there is a family problem such as a member of the family is sick, parents are getting divorced or parents are struggling financially. This way, teachers will be able to better assess and manage child behavior in the classroom. For example, instead of applying a time-out for not listening to the teacher will take the time to talk with the child and perhaps engaging that child to a different activity that will get his or her attention more effectively.
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Support and Praise
Finally, the third suggestion would be for parents to support and praise their child. Learning a new language is not easy for anyone and it comes with a lot of challenges. The suggestion would be to praise the child not only when they accomplish something but also for their effort. For instance, if the child is still struggling with speaking skills both teachers and parents need to praise that child for his or her effort. That is what is going to make that child feel motivated to keep learning and improving. Children tend to give up very easily when something gets difficult, therefore caregivers and educators must also teach a child to build confidence. Teaching strategies to deal with frustration is as important as teaching the language itself. We all have to keep in mind that younger learners must feel motivated and excited to go to class to achieve good performance. That can be accomplished with a lot of support from parents and teachers and taking the time to praise the child how well they are doing and sometimes even reward then with their favorite sweet treats.
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In conclusion, many parents would like to help teachers to better develop their child's English language skills. However, there is not a lot of resources that parents can find to achieve that. This paper solves that problem by presenting three great suggestions for parents to help teachers and as a team promotes a great environment for the child’s learning process. The first suggestion would be for caregivers to engage and challenge their children to do things at home that incorporate the new language they are learning. Then secondly, parents can help just by simply observing and sharing with teachers about the child’s behavior when involved in the learning process. As well as when the child is under emotional distress at home because that can be in the way of his or her development to learn the new language. Lastly, parents can be very helpful in supporting and praising their child not only for perceptible achievements but also for all the effort they are taking to learn a new language. The main idea is parents and teachers communicating with each other that way the child will be very motivated to learn English.
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