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How to teach a child to speak English

cute child

If you can’t see the video below, demonstrating how to teach a child to speak English, it’s also on YouTube here.

 

Introduction

It is common for parents to want their children to learn how to speak English, whether as a second language or even a third or a fourth. The biggest challenge for everyone, even teachers, is knowing how to make it fun so that children want to learn. Keep reading, and I’ll show you how!

My sister-in-law’s daughter, Julie, inspired me to create ‘Teach Your Child English.’ Even with a bilingual mother and bilingual grandparents living next door, Julie was struggling in secondary school. She would be fluent by now if only her mother had the right tools to help her. But, instead, like so many parents, Julie’s mother relied on the local primary school to give her child a foundation in English. After six years, though, Julie still hadn’t moved beyond, “my name is Julie!” And we are not talking about a little girl who had difficulty learning; she was at the top of her class. The biggest problem is that teachers in France must teach English, yet so many do not even speak it.

Speaking English is a gift you can give your child.

Speaking English may make their future easier and enrich their life. Unfortunately, the educational system for teaching languages in some countries is dire. Kids can spend years in English class and know nothing. The textbook-based, board-centric teaching gives poor results unless students study in their own time. However, you can take matters into your own hands by finding a private tutor and giving them this web page. Alternatively, follow my method and do the job yourself, without formal training.

All you need is a little time. Your child will show improvement after 20 minutes, three times a week. But, even if you can only do a lesson once a week, they will be better off than before if you use the correct teaching method.

After years of studying foreign languages and teaching English, I know how important the early years are in helping your child get ahead. So read on or how to teach a child to speak English; here are some easy, actionable steps to help you and your child get to where you want to be!

How to teach a child to speak English.

Get started!

Four immediate steps you can take to help your child learn to speak English:

Step one

Sign up for our free games! These will allow your child to have fun while learning new vocabulary and grammar.

Step two

Watch the ‘how to teach a child to speak English’ video at the top of this page! You will see with your own eyes that these games teach English in a fun and relaxed environment for your child.

Step three

All it takes is the time to read up on one of the free games you will receive by email and then sit with your child to explore the possibilities. So, make the time! Even with our busy schedules as parents, just spending five minutes of quality time each day with your child will help them grow in invaluable ways.

Step four

For further growth and development, purchase my complete resource on how to teach a child to speak English. But first, why not try some free games today? I’m here to help you!

 

Be positive

Your attitude counts! Be kind to your child. Don’t be critical, or worse, ridicule them for errors in pronunciation. On the other hand, don’t imply that the child is inferior to others or slow to learn English. If you deflate your tyres before a road trip, it’ll take longer to reach your destination, and you likely won’t get there. The same will happen if you deflate your child’s ego.

It is only natural for a parent to be eager for their child to learn quickly, only to be frustrated with what may seem like slow progress. However, if you are teaching a child English for the first time, remember that everything is new. Sounds are foreign, even more so if the child only hears English during the lesson with you. Therefore, you can expect to start slowly and gain speed as the child becomes familiar with their first new words and English phonemes.

Through the use of child-friendly language games, role-playing, stories, and songs, the following method places your child in a fun, safe environment. This method is effective because it uses constant repetition without being monotonous or pointless.

Show your child encouragement through smiles and praise, whatever the outcome of the lesson.

Showing impatience or frustration with a child because they have forgotten the previous lesson will create feelings of inferiority and might turn them learning English altogether.

Avoid competition or comparison between siblings like the plague.

Comparing siblings or creating competition between them will only turn out badly. Comparison is not helpful for either child and could create resentment and jealousy between siblings.

How to get results!

Practice makes perfect, especially if done regularly

Children need constant repetition to remember vocabulary. Therefore, you will see far more progress with frequent short sessions rather than infrequent long ones. For example, three sessions of twenty minutes are much more effective than one hour-long session. This is especially important with children learning English as a foreign language where the only English they hear is during their lessons.

That said, logistics often dictate arrangements, so if your child has one lesson a week with a tutor, try and spend two fifteen-minute sessions with them, revising words from the lesson via a few games.

Children need constant revision.

Games allow you to review themes and large amounts of vocabulary in a fun way to help your child remember what they have learned.

Do not get bogged down by grammar!

Young children do not need to know the ins and outs, rules, and exceptions of English grammar. They just need to understand and speak via games and conversation. Children learn naturally through immersion, not by learning rules. In this way, the correct grammar will come naturally. For example, your eight-year-old daughter does not need to know the rules and exceptions of the conditional tense to say, “I would like some water, please.”

Putting grammar on the back seat should come as a relief to parents who do not feel comfortable explaining grammar at all; just know that children are like sponges and will naturally “absorb” what they need to know.

A solid Foundation in English

Are you worried about whether or not your own English is good enough to teach your child?

How well should you speak English?

It’s ideal to be a native English speaker, but you have a choice to make if you are not. You can do nothing and limit your child’s chance of becoming bilingual, you can hire a native speaker to teach for you, or you can take charge and do the job yourself, even if your accent is not perfect.
Hire a native tutor if you have the financial means, and then help your child even further by practising with them at home. If you do not have the means, then, no matter what your ability, it is considerably better than doing nothing.

What about pronunciation and foreign accents?

Let us not get into dialects here. Consider that many English teachers are not native speakers and have a foreign accent. Foreign accents in English are often charming, so don’t fret if you have one. The most crucial thing in any language is that others understand you. Using a story resource with audio from native speakers, like this one, is just the ticket to teach British and American English. The story resource is a curriculum you may follow in conjunction with this book of one-to-one games. However, if you are teaching online, this ESL Online Games book is the one you want.

What if you make errors with English?

Even native English speakers make mistakes! However, it is essential, especially with beginners, to use correct grammar in sentences, so prepare before your lesson.

Other useful tips

Where do you start and what do you teach?

The teaching resource at the bottom of this page includes a recommended curriculum with vocabulary themes. These themes cover common topics and help you through the task of learning English logically. Parents find the lesson plans a great help as they spell out the method step by step, and ESL teachers save preparation time. ESL teachers may use this resource alone or supplement an existing curriculum.

Accuracy

Your child is a blank slate when it comes to learning English, so try to fill the slate with quality material from the start!

About “Teach Your Child English”

Teach Your Child English is for teachers and parents teaching English one-to-one or siblings. Levels: Beginners to lower intermediates. Ages 4-12, though you may get started at 3 and spill over to 13.  The difference is that with 3 year old children you will move more slowly through vocabulary and games.  While with older children you will whizz through games, and be able to teach spelling and writing.  Feel free to practice on the free games first as a trial run.

ESL Online Games is for children aged six and up, right through to adults.

Stories or skits are a great complement to the games book and can serve as a curriculum. 

How long does it take?

The more often you give fun lessons, the more progress you will see. Please allow a minimum of 1 hour to read the introduction and watch one of the demo videos before getting started. Then, after a few lessons with your child, you will only need 5 minutes to prepare.

Great results from teachers!

“I tried your one on one games and had an amazing result. My student was bursting with happiness. I’m very happy. Thank you!!!!”

Khromykhina Olena, Ukraine.

Proof this method words, even for dyslexic children

“I could write you miles and miles of compliments, but I think there is only one word rich enough to express my full gratitude: THANK YOU!

I started today with the younger girl and was very surprised. She managed to stay concentrated for more than half an hour, which is fantastic for a person with dyslexia. THANK YOU FROM ALL MY HEART!”

Savinka Geratic, Sloveni

Great resources for how to teach a child to speak English

Plus five sets of stories for ages 3 to 10

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