By Donna Moores
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The world is getting more and more competitive, isn’t it?
As parents, we need to raise smarter kids who can compete at top level in the future.
But how to make sure of this? Well, to start with, raise a bilingual or multilingual kid.
And if you are teaching your kids English as a second language, it is even better.
There is more than enough evidence, from scientific studies, research, and surveys, that conclude multilingual children perform better than other students. Many studies also claim that multilingual children on average have higher IQ compared to other children.
Simply put, if you are planning to raise a bilingual or multilingual child, you are doing a favor to your kids. For those who are not English speakers, the English language offers a great opportunity.
Because it is easier to learn, and as a dominant language in the world, you have access to a lot of learning resources and opportunities. As English is commonly used almost in all parts of the world, it offers you a great opportunity to teach a new language to your children.
Children who are proficient in English have access to the larger English speaking community. It also offers them access to most of the world’s information, which is mostly locked in English for those who are not well versed in English.
Teaching English as a Second Language
As there is a lot of material available in all forms, audio, video, and written, English is probably the easiest of the languages to teach your kids.
The first step is to start early and develop child’s interest in the language.
So, how can you do that?
By introducing English books, music, cartoons, and games. If you yourself are not well versed in English to speak with your child, and both parents speak in their mother tongue, make sure the child has access to only English video content.
Even though it is a popular theory that face to face direct communication is the best to teach your child or even an adult a new language, but it does not mean that other less direct methods are ineffective.
You can use age-appropriate language resources and upgrade them as your child grows older. For children, the best way to introduce a new language is by giving them access to English cartoons and music.
If one or both of the parents can speak English, it is recommended that at least one parent speaks to children in English. Out of all the ways and resources you can use to teach English, nothing can beat direct and continuous communication.
If none of the parents can speak English, it is recommended to hire a teacher, or babysitter, who can only communicate with the children in English. If you are living in English speaking country, make sure your children spend some time regularly with English speaking kids of their age.
Keep Your Expectations in Check
Most of the parents are impatient when they want to teach something new to children, and expect quick results. But in this case, you need to be patient. Just like different kids start to speak at a different age, the rate of learning a new language is also different in children.
If your child shows reluctance to speak English over native language, don’t push him. Keep patience and follow the routine.
Add the following things in your daily routine to ensure faster learning.
- Make it a habit to read English story before going to bed. It will not only help them develop vocabulary, but also improves their ability to think and imagine things in English.
- Visit English speaking families with same age kids regularly.
- One parent should speak English and must stick to it. Don’t give your kids an option to communicate in their native language with you if you are speaking in English.
- Expose them to age-appropriate English video content, on TV and mobile devices. There are a lot of good options available on YouTube.
In some cases, when the child is exposed to more than one language at home, he starts speaking late in his compared to other kids, but it is natural, as he has to deal with vocabularies of two or more different languages. But once he starts speaking, he gets fluent in both languages in no time.
The Final Words
Teaching and learning English is not difficult. Even if you can’t speak English yourself, you can easily expose your kids to a lot of quality English content from an early age. The key is to remain persistent and make sure that you are following a daily routine, that exposes your child to multiple languages every day, including English.
About the author: Donna Moores is a savvy content marketer and the Head of Content at Handmadewritings.com. She has gained an outstanding marketing experience within the biggest industries and businesses, which she pleasantly shares with the readers. You may reach out to Donna on Twitter or LinkedIn.
P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!