Many situations in life create demand for adequate English communication levels. Through spoken, written, and read mediums, English is taught to many from a young age, honed over years of education and practice.
Whether you are a parent, teacher, or support staff, you work to ensure that students are on track to set them up for the rest of their lives. It can often be overwhelming, especially if you have a group of children to guide you through this process.
Fear not, for you are in the right place here! We have created an easy-to-read list below, detailing some of the tips that could be used to improve and contribute to your child’s English skills.
1. Read and Create Stories Together
Reading and writing are skills used in everyday life, so you should contribute to how your children are developing in these departments. For example, you can effectively improve their English skills by reading stories to them regularly and helping them sound out the words for themselves. Furthermore, when you create stories with your children, you help them extend their existing vocabulary, which further improves their English skills. To keep them from feeling overwhelmed or that they are still in a rigid classroom setting, you should set manageable and achievable goals for working on your child’s vocabulary. Let’s be honest– some children find school boring, and they do not want to feel the same way at home. To teach new words to your child gradually, you should set the goal to learn a new word each day, or even each week. Ultimately, you want to ensure that you are making progress at a steady rate that is customised to your child.
2. Exposure to Certain Media
When learning a new language, you want to integrate yourself into it. This can be through various forms of media, such as television programmes, films, and books. The same tactics here can be used when improving your child’s English skills and vocabulary. As mentioned previously, reading to your child is an excellent way of getting them to improve their vocabulary and pronunciation skills. In tandem with this, using media can lead to improvements in their English skills, especially if you expose them to a wide variety of appropriate materials. This will provide your child with insight into a range of different words, offering varying contexts to terms that they already know. This is crucial for specific situations in life, which we mention in a future section.
3. Remember to Relax
You can easily fall into a pattern of worrying about your child’s development, what you should do to help, and whether you have failed as a parent. When this happens, you need to take a moment to remind yourself that this is a normal way to feel, but that you are doing an excellent job with your child. If you feel that your child may need some extra help with their development, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to an organisation or person who can provide you with the support that you need. With various organisations and resources available that are suited to different budgets, you can rest assured that you are positively contributing to your child’s development.
You may wonder what situations there are in life where your child will need a developed vocabulary and adequately-developed English skills. This is an excellent point and leads us to the following section.
Situations Where Your Child Would Need an Extended Vocabulary
Naturally, your required level of English knowledge is based on your location. For the most part, this piece will be focusing on examples and situations that occur in the UK. Because English is the most commonly spoken language in the UK, your child needs to know it thoroughly to go about day-to-day life.
Without thinking, we use language in everything we do, from reading this article to ordering a coffee from your local coffee shop. Language is essential in our lives and a valuable tool. However, day-to-day situations are not the only times where you need a comprehensive understanding of the English language.
Once your child is at exam-age, they will indeed be using English for these exams (unless, of course, they are studying or being tested in another language). With this in mind, more specific exams exist, including the 11+ exam, that test your child on their ability to use vocabulary and verbal reasoning. More specifically, skills covered include words that are commonly used, the context of said words, and your child’s knowledge of English communication and technicalities. Ensuring that your child is as prepared for such a test is of utmost importance. If you have found that your child may need some extra support, consider using 11 plus online learning services provided by programs such as Test Teach.
Possessing a developed set of English skills and having an extended vocabulary is not just required in the education world. Naturally, this is something that is essential when heading out into the wider world, whether that be the workforce or elsewhere.
Communication is critical, and ensuring that your child is prepared for the world begins with being able to communicate with those around them. As mentioned previously, by exposing your child to multiple media forms throughout their key developmental phases, you will undoubtedly be contributing to their vocabulary, as well as their overall understanding of the English language.
We hope that this detailed piece has provided insightful tips into how you can improve your child’s English skills. While we recognise that situations like these can be tense, and that there may well be times when you clash with your child over this, reminding them that you are helping them will help them in the long run.
Also, you need to work at their pace while remaining as patient and understanding as you can. Some children find the educational and learning processes challenging, so losing your temper with them or being frustrated with their progress will not help them–nor will it help you.
And it doesn’t have to be a tiresome process either! By implementing things that they love and enjoy into the learning process, they can have fun while focusing on the work at hand. This is ideal if you are doing some educational practices with them at home, where there are a lot of distracting factors to manage.
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