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A Guide to Learning English for Kids

By Joseph, published on 24/07/2017 Blog > Languages > ESOL (English) > English for Kids

A child can learn a foreign language and become fluent in it without any real problems. In fact, a young learner is usually better than an adult when it comes to learning a second language due to the way their brain is made for learning language at this stage of their life.

Would you like your child to learn to speak English as well as a native English speaker?

Here’s some advice on how to go about teaching English to children!

What Age Should Children Learn to Speak English?

If you’re wondering about when your child should start learning English, have a look at our article on the best time to start their English lessons.

Language learning and gaining fluency is a life-long journey. Don’t ever expect miracle overnight results!

Young learners can improve their lives in a number of ways:

  • A broader view of the world,

  • Cultural sensitivity and understanding,

  • An ability to learn other languages more easily,

  • A competitive advantage when it comes to work.

English Lessons for Kids

There are several ways to teach English as a second language. There’s no perfect method as it completely depends on the learner and their environment.

How do you teach children English?

  • Make sure they have fun while they learn.

Easy does it. Don’t rush anything. As we said, learning a language can take a very long time.

What's the best way for children to learn English? Children have to have fun while they’re learning. (Source: Unsplash)

Start by progressively working on their comprehension and speaking skills in a fun way with educational games and activities. You could even start simply by singing the alphabet in English.

If your child’s in primary school, you can teach them to speak English as a foreign language by playing memory games with flashcards and pictures.

English for children doesn’t really differ from English for adults. The principle is the same: you need to get used English listening, English vocabulary, and English grammar. However, for children, English learning needs to be so fun they don’t even realise they’re working!

English Movies for Kids

Why not let them watch their favourite shows in English? These can act as free English classes where they get to listen to spoken English! Every kid remembers their favourite parts, after all.

English Songs for Kids

If your child is very young, English lessons mightn’t be the best answer since they probably won’t want to concentrate on conjugating verbs or learning vocabulary.

Instead, why not check out all the different online resources for children that offer activities in English. There are even musical games that can teach them about both English and music at the same time!

Learning music has never been so easy!

Check out Pili Pop, a site that focuses on immersion and practising the English language. They won’t even realise that they’re learning English. They’ll just think they’re playing!

You can also try it for free if you’re not sure. If the method works for you, why not continue for another week or a month? There are a variety of exercises including ones for progressing quickly and seasonal exercises including Santa Claus and advent calendars.

Your child will love becoming bilingual while doing puzzles with Santa’s elves!

English Stories for Kids

In this day and age, many people seem to forget books exist. While we have smartphones, tablets, and computers, sometimes something as simple as a book will provide a child with hours of entertainment while they learn.

Online English Activities for Kids

If you’re on a tight budget, remember that there are free English resources! The internet is brimming with sites where you can learn English such as Duolingo, for example.

Here you’ll find a variety of exercises to help you complete your training. If you’ve got an iPad, download the free app from the App Store. Soon your child will be learning English by reading and speaking.

Don’t forget about speaking. Thanks to voice recognition technology, speaking is now also child’s play!

English Tutors for Kids

If you feel that tutorials are the way to go, look for a tutor today!

A tutor can help even the youngest children get ahead in primary school.

If you want to improve their level, it’s going to have to be intensive: language schools, private tutorials, and dedicating the summer holidays to learning language skills.

Establish a good routine, lessons with educational games every week. Don’t forget that English has to be fun, too!

The Benefits of Learning English as a Child

Learning English is highly recommended because of all the benefits it can bring.

Even a child that’s too young to study can always start learning the language from birth.

A baby is capable of learning vocabulary from two different languages. So speak to them in both! This is really beneficial.

How young should children start learning English? Learning English can start at birth. (Source: Milliondepixels.fr)

  • At school it will help them advance beyond their classmates.

  • It will improve their mental capabilities.

  • You’ll stimulate their cultural curiosity.

So start teaching your child English today!

Make sure it’s fun: English lessons can be enjoyable with English films, stories, games, and songs. Don’t forget to vary the methods, too! Try taking English lessons online or on your phone with apps.

Advice for Teaching English to Kids

Here’s some advice for starting to learn English for kids.

  • Speak to them regularly in English.

Your child will get used to hearing English words and sounds. They’ll quickly learn English vocabulary and their pronunciation will be great.

  • Learn English while having fun

If you want them to learn English easily, you have to make sure it’s fun! Use English lullabies, role-playing games, or educational English games! If they’re enjoying themselves, children will learn astonishingly fast.

Why not find an English pop song that they can sing along to?

Or an English story book? A bedtime story in another language is a great idea.

  • Get them an English au-pair or babysitter.

If your child is regularly interacting with English speakers, they’ll learn the language very quickly.

  • Travel to an English-speaking country.

Immersion is still the best way to learn a language. Why not go on holiday to an English-speaking country?

  • You could choose a bilingual school.

An English-language school is a great way to ensure that they’re using English in their everyday life.

Your child could practice English while enjoying themselves. Make sure you choose the right school with the right teachers. After all, it depends on the level of English you’d like your child to have.

Your child won’t be able to start learning business English at this level but you’ll be giving them all the tools they’ll need to further down the line!

When your child’s older, they’ll have no problems when it comes to passing English tests like the TOEIC or the TOEFL.

Recruiters’ doors will open to them once they’ve mastered the international language of business. They’ll be able to speak with English-speaking customers easily and take part in professional English business meetings.

Help with Dyslexia

Teaching English to dyslexic children isn’t easy as they can struggle in school.

When it comes to English or any other language, they can be at a disadvantage.

So how do we get around this.

  • Choose an English private tutor.

Make sure you choose the right one. Explain to them the issues your child has.

The tutor must be able to alter their teaching approach to help them by introducing fun activities and using colour association, for example. Everything must be used to help the student to learn.

How can you teach dyslexic children English? Play with colours to highlight important English words. (Source: Learning World Childcare)

  • There are several ways to help dyslexic children:

  • Choose varied resources: English films with subtitles, printed press, and audio.

  • Travel!

We can’t say this enough! Linguistic tourism is by far the best method. Immersion is a great way to progress. You can go to the UK, the US, Australia, or anywhere where English is spoken.

A child in contact with native English speakers has only one choice: They have to listen, understand, and speak!

This is great way to learn English and broaden their cultural understanding.

English Games for Kids

If you want your child to improve their English quickly, you need to choose the right English resources!

There are various fun methods that are highly recommended for children.

  • English music.

Can you teach English through song? Studying English through song can help children to remember new information more easily. (Source: Events Flow)

You’ll remember having learnt the alphabet by singing the song. Singing helps memory.

Singing grammatical rules can help you remember them.

  • Fun English games.

There are plenty of sites and apps that can help you learn English. Your child won’t even realise that they’re learning because they’re having too much fun.

  • English on the Internet.

There are plenty of specialised websites for learning English. They can help a child to study using the right approach. Don’t forget you can also hire private tutors over Skype or find a language exchange friend their own age! Your child can learn to count, read, and speak with other children. Whether using a computer or a tablet, your child can learn while they play, too.

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