How to Teach Your Child English
By Shelley Ann Vernon Submitted On May 13, 2013
Learn five key aspects of teaching a child English one-on-one. Private tutoring a child to learn English can be boring or a struggle. How do you go about making it easier and more fun? You may be surprised to learn that, by taking the right approach, teaching your child English can be fun for the student and the tutor. While using a textbook does have an important place in the learning process, there are other tutoring techniques that are just as important when you consider how to teach a child English. Get Off on the Right Foot! Prepare your child with positive reinforcement for several weeks prior to the actual lesson. Build their confidence by telling them repeatedly that they can learn English because they are smart and because you know they can do it! The first important step in how to teach English to children is to show your child that you believe in them and that they have your unconditional love and support. If your child has unsuccessfully attempted to learn English in the past, do not remind them of their earlier failure. The problem may not have been that your child was unable to learn, but that whatever tutoring technique was used did not work effectively. Knowing that you believe in them, they can forget any previous bad experience and have an open mind. Perfection Is Not Your Goal Right from the beginning be sure to focus on your child’s achievements and not their failures. Is it really important that they pronounce each word perfectly? If you insist on perfection all that will be accomplished is that your child will lose confidence and will become fearful about making a mistake. Never show your own frustration when your child has trouble pronouncing a word. At the first signs that your child is having a problem with pronunciation, try not to fall into the trap of making them repeat the word over and over again hoping that they will eventually get it right. This approach will only make them feel stupid and frustrated and will undermine their self-esteem. Move on to a word they can pronounce and come back later to any problem words. Listen to Your Child Each child learns in different ways and at different speeds. Another important thing to understand about how to teach children English is finding the right approach for the specific child. While some children may connect when you show them an object and then repeat the name of the object over and over again, your child may not like this technique and may shut down. Children know immediately when they do not like something and most will not cooperate until the teaching method is revised to fit their style of learning. Make Learning Fun All children respond to having fun and there is no better way to teach children English than by using language games, plays and skits, or stories and songs. For young children under age three, you will have to improvise learning English into simple songs or stories where the words you want them to learn are repeated. This is one of the easiest ways to teach children English because their subconscious naturally picks up the sounds of the words and remembers them. For older children over age three, you can begin to structure your tutoring by introducing new English vocabulary words with language games. As each new word is learned and remembered, implement a new game that encourages the child to use the word in a sentence. Correct English grammar is best introduced in this way, and “positively” challenging your child will get results over mindless repetition of words without purpose. Devise “speaking” games to encourage accuracy and fluency. Then alternate different games that focus on writing rather than just on word cards and speaking. Please see the article resource box for further guidance and a demonstration video of private tutoring using games. How to Supplement School English Lessons at Home You can still help to teach your child English at home even if they are learning it in school. Build a strong English foundation at home by focusing on listening and speaking English with your child. Many classroom situations do not have much practical practice time. Try not to panic if your child appears to be lost and behind in their English class at school. They may have trouble learning at school because their English lessons are not fun. You can help tutor your child at home by improvising fun games that will help to make them successful and that will give them confidence when they return to school. Children who learn the joys of learning at home will apply their enthusiasm in a desire to learn English in school.
Watch the free demonstration video showing how a private tutor teaches English to a child aged 6 and a second child aged 12. See how the children are engaged and learn English successfully, with no stress and great enjoyment. Even the tutor is having fun!