- 01. Parents and Children Learning How to Speak English Together
- 02. Tips for Parents Who Lack Spoken English Proficiency
- 03. Learning to Speak English through Role Reversal
- 04. How Music Can Improve Spoken English
- 05. Meet Your Child’s English Lessons Teacher
- 06. Invest in Resources for English Lessons at Home
- 07. Subscribe to English Resources
- 08. Online English for Parents
Learning how to speak English as a second language is one thing, but how can parents who do not have spoken English ability help their children with extra English lessons? In South Africa, where there are 11 official languages, it is fortunate that English, which is the third most widely spoken language in the world after Chinese and Spanish is part of the national educational curriculum.
In fact, a Grade 12 pass depends on it. But with so many languages to learn in one country, the problem is that English lessons at school are often not enough to bridge the gap between school and entrance into many tertiary education programmes. If for example, a child wants to study for a Communications Degree at the University of Johannesburg, language marks need to be strong, usually above 50% to be considered.
Not only this but if the child has stated English as a proficiency on their CV, this won’t help in an actual job interview if their spoken English lets them down. The fact is that in a world as international as the one we live in today, it’s essential to have a language to match, and in South Africa, the most available option is English as a second language.
If you know an adult who has never had the opportunity of learning how to speak English or just wants to refresh their grammar and vocabulary, learning alongside their children could be their chance to improve their own spoken English.
So when does all this begin? Well in South Africa, children are first exposed to learning to speak English at school at around 4 years old. If the parent’s English as a second language is non-existent, encourage them to learn along with the child starting with colours, numbers, animals, and days of the week!
Small children like to show off their progress, so even when parents only understand some of what is being said, it is important that the child feels encouraged to persevere!
Unfortunately, when the child feels as if the parents do not understand or are not interested in their learning, their enthusiasm for learning how to speak English can wane.
This is why it can be exceptionally beneficial for children and parents to learn English as a second language together!
If you are looking for a private English lesson to suit the whole family Superprof could help you accomplish this. And with thousands of English tutors for every ability and budget located all over South Africa, it’s a website that can truly take the hassle out of endless online searching.
Parents and Children Learning How to Speak English Together
Imagine having a private English tutor who is located so nearby that in-person English lessons for children and parents were extremely convenient. The other option is to gather around a computer to learn English as a second language as a family. All one would need is a webcam and internet connection.
Tips for Parents Who Lack Spoken English Proficiency
Firstly, find out about English lessons online, or nearby.
Parents without proficiency in spoken English should encourage their children to speak to them in English anyway. Remember that quieter children who are too shy to speak up especially when learning how to speak English might not benefit from the full benefit of language learning which includes listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Children like this, without the benefit of parents who are able in spoken English, can be at a great disadvantage.
When the parents are not learning to speak English at the same time as the children, it can be extra difficult for the children to progress and as a result, they could fall behind their classmates. This can result in a difficult cycle for the child who will struggle to grasp pronunciation because of a lack of practise at home.
Proper pronunciation cannot be achieved on pen and paper but only through listening and speaking.
Learning to Speak English through Role Reversal
Role reversal can be a very effective method to grasp almost any concept, but especially for children learning how to speak English along with their parents. When the child becomes the teacher, they are able to powerfully practise their English grammar rules using their best English accent!
The notion of explaining things to a beginner results in added clarity to one’s own comprehension which is why role reversal is so effective. Explaining things to a beginner requires clarity in one’s own comprehension. If the child cannot explain what they have learnt it is a sure sign that further education in that area is needed. Role reversal is an excellent way for parents to keep an eye on their child’s progress while they themselves are learning to speak English.
How Music Can Improve Spoken English
There is absolutely no shortage of popular English music in the world and this is why it is an excellent tool when learning how to speak English.
There’s a good chance that the lyrics of your child’s favourite song are in English. One effective comprehension exercise would be to ask the child to explain what the song means without translating it literally. You would be surprised at how often the child can understand the keywords and then be able to use them in their everyday English.
This will influence their pronunciation which explains why so many children who learn second language spoken English develop an American or British language based on the songs and television they enjoy!
Meet Your Child’s English Lessons Teacher
Parent-teacher meetings can be an extremely helpful opportunity for the parent to track the child’s progress and ask for practical tips on how to best support them.
For parents who only have limited spoken English ability themselves, revising their child’s English with them can seem impossible.
Good advice for these parents would be to make use of the resources like CD s, DVDs, podcasts, and textbooks that are made available to the child and to simply try and learn alongside them, albeit remotely.
Invest in Resources for English Lessons at Home
Again, the most effective method for family English tuition would be to find private English lessons.
Whether you are using a private tutor, or your child is embarking on English as a second language at school, investing in the right tools and resources will be beneficial.
You could also work within your budget and choose wisely or use free online tools too. Ask the English tutor for recommendations for English workbooks to suit your child’s level. Remember that the more time and dedication that is given to practising what has been taught in class, will result in being able to learn English quickly.
Exercises in workbooks are the best way to monitor language progress and there are many affordable options that come with answers to the exercises which makes it easier for parents with limited English knowledge!
In the same way that children hand in homework, they can ask for input on their extra lesson work too.
Doing extra English lessons by going through tricky grammar exercises and completing quizzes on the use of adjectives, nouns, tenses and more, can help learners prepare for English exams in the future.
Subscribe to English Resources
There are copious amounts of English reading material aimed at ESOL learners. Remember too that magazines, games, television, and radio also offer important insights into the Anglophone culture while teaching at the same time.
There are also many websites on the internet to help young English learners through having fun.
Online English for Parents
By now, you should be convinced that the success of a child who is learning English as a second language is linked to the parent’s commitment to learning to speak English. In fact, a collective effort by the whole family can be very powerful.
Being confident in the writing, speaking, and reading of an international language like English will open critical doors throughout life for anyone. To be bilingual in English and your mother tongue is an advantage that will assist with tertiary education options and open career doors.
There is absolutely no doubt, learning to speak English alongside your children so that you can monitor their progress, encourage them and improve yourself too, is an excellent idea.
On Superprof, there are hundreds of English tutors suited to every level of ability and budget. Start by searching for someone near you and take it from there.
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