How to help your child learn English if you don't know the language: teacher tips
Helping your child learn English is easy if you yourself know the language at a decent level. But everything is not always so simple: perhaps you started to master it quite recently, or you have studied, say, German all your life. Even so, you will still be able to teach your child English, and at the same time you will tighten it yourself, writes Lifehacker.
Give children books in a foreign language
Reading in English is a great way to learn the language at any age. For kids, choose bilingual books where foreign words come immediately with translation and pictures: alphabet, animals, objects, and so on. Offer older children their favorite fairy tales and stories in translation. The plot will be known in advance, and the book will not cause difficulties.
“You should give your child completely English or bilingual books as early as possible,” says foreign language teacher Christine Espinar.
Then such reading will be perceived as something natural, and not as boring lessons.
Show your favorite cartoons in English
There is everything on the Internet, including original versions of your favorite cartoons. The conditional "Peppa Pig" is in all languages of the world: from English to Croatian.
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Young children love to imitate cartoon characters, so after a while the child will freely sing the song of the Little Mermaid or Peter Pan. This will help expand vocabulary and improve pronunciation.
Find an English speaking mentor
A native English speaker will “naturally” introduce your child to it, says Martha Abbott, director of the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages. If you can afford it, try hiring a bilingual nanny.
“Young children are great at mimicking what they hear, so getting to know each other at an early age is very valuable,” explains Abbott.
Those for whom a nanny is not an option can hire an English-speaking tutor. Well, if you are not lucky with foreigners at all, ask for help from a friend or relative who knows the language better than you.
Exercise regularly, but don't race
“To get results, it is advisable to practice a foreign language every day,” says Abbott.
But there is no need to reproach yourself and your child for missing a day or a week. Children are not required to freely express themselves in English and read Shakespeare in the original - it is enough to learn the sounds and syntax.
Learning should be fun and natural, so let the children choose what to listen to, watch and read.