How to Teach English to Kids: 10 Effective Methods
New to teaching kids? I know what you may be thinking, “Teaching English to kids… impossible!”. They do not stop moving or talking when they are older, much less when they are toddlers.
It sounds frustrating and extremely stressful to boot! All those thoughts passed through my mind when I started, many years ago.
Teaching children can be extremely challenging, but at the same time, it is an incredibly fun and rewarding experience unlike any other. Once you overcome your anxieties, you will probably come to love your students.
Fret not, I’m here to help you make the lessons enjoyable for all. Below are ten effective tips on how to teach English to kids that will help you to achieve creative and memorable classes for your little ones.
What is it like to teach English to children?
Let’s start with the first thing that comes to mind: they have short attention spans.
Children get bored and distracted very easily even in their mother tongue, so when someone is speaking in a language they do not know, it can be that much harder to keep their focus on you.
In terms of motivation, it is highly unlikely that they have chosen to learn English. Unlike adult learners, children are signed up to learn English by their parents or learn it as part of their school program.
Interesting and fun things motivate kids. They remember things like these fondly and will then look forward to attending their English classes.
Another consideration is that each child learns differently. Therefore, a lot of patience and understanding are required. Motivate them by creating lessons that are fun and engaging. Fun activities, games, and songs are a must during each lesson.
Personally, I love teaching English to children! Tempus fugit, time flies as they say, and lessons always go so quickly when you are having fun. Not to mention, when they learn a new phrase or word and are able to use it, your heart literally explodes with pride.
Let us see how we can experience that feeling by looking at some tips.
Tips for teaching English to kids
Like with all lessons, preparation is the key!
Know the objective of your lesson, the vocabulary or language to be used, and the material needed to play those fun games to reinforce the language.
For every lesson, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you are teaching and what is needed. If something like a game is required, allot time to find a good one, or even make one if necessary.
A good tip to remember is to always prepare more activities than needed. Some activities may take up more time than you thought and others less time. To avoid being stressed because you have run out of things to do during the lesson, bring those backup games or activities.
If you are not naturally creative, being prepared helps you to review other resources to help you come up with an assortment of games or other activities to be used in the lessons.
2. Use lots of visuals
Visuals are a must when you teach English to kids. Since they naturally lack focus, it is vital that you have different things for them to look at. Visuals will help to catch their attention and hold it throughout the lesson.
Colorful visuals will capture the child’s attention. Flashcards will be your best friend, both large ones for the group and smaller ones for games.
Usually, for toddlers or younger learners, I tend to make the visuals larger and have a lot more props. They love to stare and touch – so why not provide those bigger visuals for them to focus on?
Also, children may not understand the vocabulary, so having a picture of the object with its name underneath can help them to develop their understanding better.
Finally, there are a variety of games that can be played using visuals. And now, with the help of technology, we can use many apps and interactive games online to keep everyone engaged.
3. Use your lovely singing voice
If you open a kid’s English book, how many chapters or lessons have a song connected to them? The vast majority of them have!
Why is this? Clearly, they are saying that we need to sing! Kids learn so many words, expressions, grammatical structures, and dialogues through the different English songs taught to them.
I would recommend having a regular opening routine with songs to get the kids ready for class. Not only will they learn and feel more comfortable in English, but songs are also so much fun to learn.
What’s more, you can add some actions to the songs and watch the kids boogie. They will most definitely remember them!
You may feel embarrassed singing songs but not to worry, kids do not care. They will love it!
Still, if you are not comfortable with it, you can simply sing along and make big gestures. The bigger they are, the more the kids will enjoy it and join in. And besides that, they are speaking and singing in English! Try it out!
4. Keep it all simple
Keeping instructions and sentences simple is key to keeping the students continuously focused throughout the lesson. In addition, there will be no confusion when they have to complete an activity or participate in a game.
Instead of saying what might come naturally such as “Now, stop what you are doing and look at the board. ” We can say something simple like, “Stop and look here.”
Using gestures and short but clear requests are much easier to understand. They will not bombard the young learner with too much of the language which they will not understand anyway.
Once the children start to recognise requests, you can then start to expand on their knowledge. Start making the sentences longer or use alternative words.
Another effective method is to write the sentences up on the board to help them practise their reading and pronunciation.
5. Make sure to keep the lessons fun
As mentioned earlier, children are motivated if they consider the lessons to be fun. In this case, they will not want to skip or miss a class.
How do we feel when something is monotonous? Bored, right?
When we are not engaged in a game or activity, we lack motivation, and this is doubly true for kids learning English. They will start daydreaming or even misbehaving, and you do not want that.
Keep the kids on their toes by making sure you have a variety of different activities and games in your lessons. Take note of the games you have used in your lessons, so as not to repeat them in the next lesson or play them too often.
There will always be games or activities that the children like more than others, so do keep a note of which ones they prefer. Be creative. Think of ways you can adapt them to make them slightly different each time. I guarantee it will keep the kids coming back for more.
I will not lie to you, at first, it can be very time-consuming to create all the things you need. But once they’re done, you will have a vast array of tools that you can use again and again.
On top of that, as the children progress, you will find that you will naturally know how to change up the activity to keep them stimulated.
Don’t forget, you can find a wide range of online resources to help you.
6. Read stories
Here you will have a chance to use your magical voice again.
Stories are a great way for the child to use their imagination. When reading stories, use your voice to express everything in an exaggerated manner. Children and young learners will hang onto your every word.
Through stories, children learn the correct pronunciation and structures of English words and sentences. You are teaching them different expressions and how to use them.
Do not forget to keep it interactive. Before reading, ask the children about the images. What do they see? What colours do they see? Is the boy/girl happy, sad, or angry?
Keep the story intriguing, as if something big is going to happen. If the kids are older, ask them what they think is going to happen. Always involve the children – it will keep them engaged.
Ask yourself: What is the moral of the story? What activities can you do related to the story? How can I make it more interactive?
7. Be active through fun activities
Movement is essential when you teach English to kids. They have boundless energy, so use it to your advantage. Get the children up and do some fun activities together in English.
I’m sure you can think of many games you played as a kid. Some common games include:
- I spy
- Memory (a great game that can be played with anything)
- Basketball (or any throwing game)
- Go fish
I’m sure you can think of some more, but remember you can adapt any game to benefit the children and meet the objective of the lesson.
Toddlers start by identifying the different objects, colours, actions, etc. However, older learners will be able to use their imagination more so you can incorporate more with them.
Interactive worksheets or online games are another fun activity for children to develop their English skills.
Role-playing is a good, fun activity. Younger learners become mesmerised when they see their teacher dressing up and acting out of character.
Wigs, funky glasses, and hats help the older children to step into a new character. Acting out the story that has just been read helps solidify the language that they have learned. You will be truly amazed by how much English children have picked up when you hear their role-playing.
Debating topics that the children enjoy is another great way to see how much English they have learned. Their little minds are always working, so they may surprise you.
This spoken English article has more effective ideas on how to teach spoken English to beginners. Just remember to keep the environment light and relaxed. None is being judged. It is all for fun!
8. Recap and review lessons
Children do not retain as much information as adults, therefore repetition is paramount to helping them learn English.
Throughout your classes, keep repeating the things you have covered in the previous lessons. A tip I found useful was including a review lesson. Every three or so lessons, just have a fun class reviewing the previous lessons to ensure that the kids remember.
Be careful though, because review lessons can feel long and strenuous if you just do the same thing. Be sure to make it enjoyable, include lots of fun activities, and maybe even introduce a new game.
Reviewing previous lessons helps the students to use the vocabulary and grammar points/structures more freely. Additionally, you notice what things the kids have picked up and what they need to work on more.
9. Establish rules and expectations
One thing that is very different from teaching adults is behaviour. Misbehaviour is going to be a problem in some cases. There will be lessons when things do not go the way you would have liked, so adjust your expectations.
You can, however, mitigate misbehaviour. As mentioned before, if children are bored, they fidget, lose concentration and start being distracted. So keep them active, as much as possible.
Still, even though your lessons can be very engaging, you may still have one or two challenging students who want to treat the classroom as a playground or give a rude comment or two.
From the beginning, classroom rules need to be established. Drawing pictures or a chart will help the children to know what is expected of them and the consequences if they do not follow them.
If a child is misbehaving, try to figure out why. Sometimes it could be because their level is higher or lower than the others, which can make them uncomfortable.
Once you identify the reasons, you can plan accordingly by preparing something extra or by sitting them next to someone who will challenge or encourage them.
There is the possibility that they just do not want to learn English. Simply tap the classroom expectations chart if they are disrupting your class too much. This will draw their attention to the outcome of their misbehaviour.
Do not be afraid to follow through with the consequences that you have stated on the chart. If you dilly-dally with discipline, then sadly, no one will take you seriously. Instead of a fun English class, it becomes a class you end up disliking.
10. Regularly praise and offer encouragement
We all need praise and encouragement, right? Well, young learners need it even more!
Have you noticed their little faces when you encourage or praise them? They light up or try that much harder to succeed.
Constant encouragement is a must. Remember, these children are learning a completely new language. They can not express themselves as they can in their native language, and they too become frustrated.
Do not let them struggle. Help them out as much as you can by supplying the words they need. Praise them for trying and encourage them to keep going.
Regularly praise the children when they try, or manage to achieve something, no matter how big or small. They will not want to give up and it will leave a positive impression on them.
I hope all of these tips will help you become an effective kids’ teacher. Always consider the age of the children you are teaching and take some time to think of the child’s limitations. What do they excel at? What do they struggle with?
But above all, keep it fun and relaxed! Motivated children mean fun classes and happy parents and you will end up enjoying too.
Teaching children will provide you with a wider variety of experiences and open up more opportunities for you. If you feel ready to start looking at your options, this review from a VIPKID teacher gives a few more helpful tips on teaching young learners.
A Complete Guide – StoryLearning
So you’re interested in teaching English to kids online. For a few years, teaching online mostly meant teaching English to kids online with the rise of companies like VIP Kid, GoGoKid or Palfish.
Since the Chinese government changed the rules on tutoring for Chinese school children, the industry is not what it used to be.
That said, parents will always be interested in helping their kids get ahead in a globalised world thanks to English classes, whether online or offline. So there are still plenty of opportunities out there to teach English to children online.
In this article, you’ll learn about what teaching kids online requires, where to look for jobs, how much you can expect to earn as well as tips for creating fun and engaging online classes for children.
If you want to become a qualified online language teacher and earn a living from home, I recommend checking out CeOLT (Certificate of Online Language Teaching).
Click here to find out more
Why Teach Kids Rather Than Adults
Well, if you’re reading this then you’re probably interested in teaching English to kids online. But, you may want to teach ESL to children because you’ve already had experience working with them and enjoyed it and want to pivot to language teaching.
Perhaps you’ve been a summer camp counsellor or have worked in an after school club. Maybe you even have experience teaching children in your country as a K-12 teacher or nursery or primary school teacher.
As I mentioned before, for a while, a big chunk of the online ESL teaching market was about teaching kids, mostly Chinese ones. So teaching kids, particularly for Chinese companies, was a good move for many people as it paid well for the sector and was in high demand.
Other than money and opportunities, which are thinner on the ground than they used to be, you may want to teach kids because it’s fun. Teaching kids requires a slightly different skill set to teaching adults as we’ll see in the next section.
If you’d like to do fun class activities, have a natural entertainer or creative side or want to teach in a different way, using mostly songs, games and props, then teaching kids could suit you. More on that in the next section.
How Does Teaching Kids Differ From Teaching Adults?
So you may be aware of the truism that kids pick up languages faster than adults. The reality is not quite that simple. But it’s true that kids tend to be less inhibited than adults and not so self-conscious about using a new language.
They don’t tend to worry so much about mistakes. And in fact, they might not actually take corrections on board.
Their ability to try out new things like speaking a language, without the hang-ups of adults, means they can seem to progress more quickly. And they can certainly pick up a lot if they’re in a total immersion environment.
Advantages That Adults Have Over Kids
That said, adults do have some advantages when it comes to language learning. While many adults let mindset issues get in the way of starting to speak, they’re able to do the metacognitive work of thinking about and planning their language learning.
They know how they prefer to learn and can reflect on their learning, choosing to continue working with material or discard it if it’s not useful.
Children, especially younger ones, haven’t yet developed these cognitive skills. So you won’t be able to take advantage of them. Instead you’ll have to jump straight into activities and games to make them use English.
Another issue is that children may not be able to read and write yet in their own language. While excessive note-taking can also inhibit adults in their language learning, it means that they can get input from reading as well as listening.
Young children can only pick up the language orally which limits the richness and variety of what they’re exposed to. One of the reasons you learn through reading here at StoryLearning® is that you get exposure to “better quality” language than you do when just listening to a language.
That said, if the kids you’re working with are old enough, it can be interesting to use a phonics approach to start teaching them the sounds of English and the sound-spelling correspondences so they can start doing some reading and writing too.
Concentration And Energy Levels
Another big difference between children and adults are concentration and energy levels. Of course, even with adults you need to plan for activities of different lengths. No-one is going to enjoy 60 minutes with their head in grammar exercises!
But while adults can concentrate for longer periods and work more autonomously, kids need a lot of variety.
When I first started teaching kids, the school owner told me that I would need to change activities every five minutes! Typically, lessons with kids, especially online, will be shorter to reflect their inability to concentrate for long periods of time.
Kids also benefit from being able to move around often, especially if they’re young. This can be a little harder to incorporate into online teaching but it is still possible. Keep reading to find out how.
And finally, while adults can enjoy using games and songs when learning English, kids love them even more. In fact, you’ll mostly use materials like this plus props and movement to teach children.
While you can get them to sit at their desks and do some drawing or writing, especially if they’re older, they need a lot of fun and games to learn.
Do You Need Any Special Qualifications Or Vetting To Teach English To Children?
Funnily enough no which seems surprising when you consider what a large part of the English teaching market teaching kids is. If you teach abroad, in some countries that means teaching children, either school kids or pre-school children.
Cambridge English Language Assessment, the body that awards the CELTA, used to offer a Young Learner Extension that was discontinued in December 2016.
Some TEFL course providers such as Bridge offer specialised courses in teaching children. But most online schools, including those who offer classes to children, will just ask for a generic 120-hour TEFL certification. That said, do your homework before applying!
Many people who teach abroad also find themselves having to teach teenagers or big groups of pre-school kids with no particular qualification for that.
I started teaching very small groups (thankfully) of children after completing my CELTA with no training. But the school had resources such as textbooks and course books. And I also found plenty of lesson plans online.
In the online world, companies often have a curriculum already designed. And you may be expected to follow their lesson plans and use their materials. In that case, qualifications and training are less of an issue.
Vetting And Background Checks
As for vetting, that will depend on the requirements in particular countries and schools.
For instance, International House, a well-known ESL teaching school chain which offers mostly face-to-face classes, requires you to confirm that “you are of a suitable character to work with young people”. They go on to explain that police checks for any criminal convictions depend on the country where you’re working.
For online ESL companies, it seems like they’re more bothered about your teaching certificates, making you do a demo lesson and checking your internet speed than doing a background check.
This may vary depending on where the company is located. For example, Tutorgigs only hires people who can work in the US and applicants must pay for a background check.
How Much Can You Earn Teaching English To Kids Online?
In the glory days of the Chinese online English teaching companies, teachers were making around $2000 per month working for VIPKid and similar companies.
These days, the pay isn’t quite so high, nor are the hours quite so reliable. But there are still opportunities out there.
As a rule, if you work for a company, you probably won’t make more than $20 per hour, with the possible exception of Starkid which pays up to $25 and Protostar where you can earn up to $33 per hour.
As always, getting higher pay isn’t magic. It often depends on qualifications, experience and sometimes, unfortunately, being a native speaker rather than non-native.
You can make slightly more money on Cambly Kids than through regular Cambly classes with adults as they pay $12 per hour rather than $10.20. To work on Cambly you need to be a native speaker but don’t require a degree, TEFL certification or experience.
LingoAce offers 25-minute 1:1 classes or 55-minute group classes for children and pays between $14-$20 per hour. But you’ll need to be a native speaker, have a degree as well as a TEFL certificate.
All Right is an Eastern European platform that hires native and non-native English speakers to tutor children aged 3-15 1:1. Pay is $10-$12 with a minimum time commitment of 15 hours a week. You’ll need either a degree or a TEFL certificate to teach with them.
You can also find kids to tutor online independently, in which case you can set your own rates. You’ll also be able to set your own rates on teaching marketplaces, like Outschool which is only for kids. But then you’ll also be in competition with 1000s of other teachers. And the platform will deduct its commission from your rate.
Where Can You Find Jobs Teaching English To Kids Online?
You can go directly to the sites of some online companies specialised in teaching kids such as Cambly Kids, to apply. Other examples of platforms that offer lessons only to kids are LingoAce, NovaKid, Protostar and Starkid.
Some tutoring companies and platforms offer classes for both adults and children. Some examples include HiTutor, Tutorful, Fluentbe and Nao Now.
If you’re on an online tutoring platform such as iTalki and want to teach kids, you could tailor your intro video and profile to this market so that parents browsing the platform can send their kids to you.
If you’re interested in teaching independently, you could put up classified ads online explaining that you offer lessons for kids. In this case, you’ll be marketing to the parents rather than the children.
7 Top Tips For Teaching English To Kids Online
I spoke to online English teacher Chiara Coombs from Clear Lingo who has experience teaching English to kids online, even if she’s now only focusing on adult immigrants to the US. She was kind enough to share some top tips for teaching children, including some of her favourite resources.
As I mentioned before, many online ESL companies will provide a curriculum, lesson plans, and materials, but not all. You may also have some flexibility and be able to incorporate your own resources and ideas.
Of course, if you’re working on a marketplace or independently, you’ll be responsible for creating your curriculum and planning your ESL lessons. In which case, the lesson ideas and materials below will come in handy!
#1 Use Wordless Books
You remember picture books from when you were a little kid right? Well they’re perfect as a tool to incorporate into online lessons with kids!
Wordless books tell a story through pictures. And you’ll be able to find them in public libraries.
You can use these books in online ESL lessons with children to develop their speaking skills. And to teach them new words in context.
Chiara’s tech tip is to use a document camera so that you can show the student your book. That way, they don’t need to have their own copy.
Here’s are some tips for using wordless books:
- Look at the cover together. Ask the student what they think the book is about based on what they see on the cover.
- Ask them to tell you the story page by page. You can ask them questions to help them along like “what is the character doing?” or “how do you think they feel?”.
- As they tell the story, write down any new words that would help. You can review these words and expressions at the end. You can also ask them to re-tell the story next class as a way to review.
#2 Learn About Phonics To Start Teaching Reading
As I mentioned before, some very young children won’t be able to read and write yet. But you can get the ball rolling by learning and using a phonics approach.
You can find videos on YouTube where teachers teach sounds and help kids read short CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words like “bat” or “cat”.
You can also find online phonics programmes. Chiara recommends Lively Letters from Reading with TLC which has an online phonics studio.
They offer free webinars to support teachers who want to use the phonics approach.
#3 Use Finger Puppets To Break The Ice
As friendly and approachable as you may be, kids, especially in an online environment might find it easier to talk to a finger puppet or object.
Why puppets? Well they’re fun and will make your student laugh so they’re relaxed and find it easier to learn.
You can find some finger puppets on Etsy. And if you have kids, I’m sure you have toys lying around the house that you can bring into the classroom.
#4 Use Games
Kids love to play games and it’s much easier to get them interested in English if they learn through play. You can create your own games or purchase them on sites such as Teachers Pay Teachers.
You can also find affordable games to play and downloadable lesson plans on Twinkl.
#5 Use Pictures
Pictures and images are another great way to engage young learners. A really simple activity you can try is “describe the scene” where students look at a picture you show via screen-share and try to describe what’s happening.
They may struggle with the grammar here, as present perfect continuous is pretty challenging conceptually. But they’ll have fun pointing out some of the weird and wonderful things happening in the pictures.
#6 Use Conversation Decks
Holstee has created a set of Reflection Cards for Kids aged 6 and up that encourage them to share stories, express feelings and reveal their hopes and dreams.
So as you can imagine, they create plenty of speaking opportunities, especially for older children who can express themselves a bit more.
To get the most out of a resource like this, you would need to get creative and turn it into a kind of game.
#7 Incorporate Your Homes Into the Lessons
You and your student are both in your respective homes. So why not make the most of that? I said kids need to move around. And a great way to get them to do that is to teach them adjectives to describe objects, like “hard”, “small”, “big”, “soft”.
Once they’ve learned them you can test their knowledge by asking them to go find “a small hard object” and show you it on the webcam.
Teaching English To Kids Online
While the online ESL market for teaching kids isn’t quite what it was, as you can see, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to make a positive difference in children’s lives.
You could do this by working for a company or platform that offers lessons to young ESL learners. Or by going independent and finding parents who want lessons for their children.
Teaching English to kids online can be a fun and rewarding career, especially if you have an entertainer, nurturing or creative side. Kids learn differently to adults so you need to be prepared to use different techniques and materials.
If you can see yourself using games, songs, props, movement and more in your lessons, then why not give it a go!
how to independently study and learn English with a child at home
At what age to start
According to UNICEF, 80% of the brain is formed before the age of three. Among other things, the skills of recognizing and reproducing sounds are laid, the speech apparatus adjusts to the phonetics of the language, and the neural connections of the brain begin to actively form. Scientists even single out the concept of a “critical period”, after which it becomes more difficult to master a foreign language.
The older we get, the more difficult it is to master a foreign language
Before the age of seven, it is easiest to master a foreign language at a high level. After that, learning abilities decrease due to changes in the child’s brain. In addition, it becomes more difficult for the muscles of the articulatory apparatus to rebuild and begin to reproduce unusual sounds and intonations.
During this period, the brain of children is open to the perception of new information. Children «absorb» the language unconsciously, without making separate efforts for this — that is why it is good to connect a foreign language.
To teach your child English at home, you can introduce your child to two languages right from birth. It stimulates brain development. Contrary to popular myths, this does not lead to a mixture of languages - the child’s brain is able to automatically sort languages into different «boxes».
But do not give the kids an intense load. You can introduce English to a preschooler unobtrusively — then we will tell you how.
Foxford Online Elementary School starts teaching English from the second grade. First, the classes are held in the format of a video course — the guys listen to the material that is presented in a playful manner, and then consolidate it with the help of interactive exercises on the platform and colorful printouts.
From the fourth grade, a webinar course begins — the guys interact with the teacher in a live format.
The tips in this article are aimed at toddlers, but are suitable for all ages learning English from scratch. It doesn’t matter how old a child is – learning a foreign language is always useful to start with games, children’s fairy tales and cartoons. It is better to do this under the supervision of professionals, but it is really possible to lay the foundations yourself.
Why parents shouldn’t talk to their child in English
If you are not bilingual and do not speak English at a sufficient level, it is not recommended to speak with your child on your own. This is fraught with several dangers:
❌ the child will learn grammatical errors that you can make;
❌ the child will learn the Russian accent, which is most likely present in your speech;
❌ the child will learn Russian-speaking intonations that are not characteristic of the English language.
If you are not sure about your level of English proficiency, use other ways to listen to authentic speech:
✅ children’s cartoons in English,
✅ children’s songs in English,
✅ audio fairy tales read by English speakers, and other ways.
This way the baby will hear authentic correct speech and learn the language in the same way as children born in an English-speaking environment do — in a natural way.
It’s great to start learning English with your child if you don’t speak English well enough. This is one way to motivate a child to learn a language. A personal example of a loved one is very inspiring for kids!
Tip 1. Watch cartoons
Learning a foreign language should be as close as possible to learning a native language. In order to learn their native language, the child for the first 5-6 years simply absorbs what is happening around and interacts verbally.
Therefore, all that is needed at first is to immerse the child in English speech. Listening with video should become the basis of the educational process. Cartoons are ideal — they have both audio and video tracks. They are easy to find in the public domain — for example, on YouTube.
After watching cartoons, children often involuntarily begin to repeat phrases from cartoons. The necessary clichés and expressions themselves settle in the head. Sometimes the child does not even know the translation, but he understands perfectly well what the statement means, because he saw it in the cartoon.
Here are some sites and YouTube channels with English cartoons for interesting learning of English.
- LearnEnglish Kids – British Council,
- Cartoons On,
- Kids TV – Nursery Rhymes And Children’s Song s and others.
Tip 2: Learn Phonics
At Foxford Home Online School, English reading skills are practiced using phonics, a modern technique that focuses on sounds rather than letters of the alphabet and does not use transcriptions. British schoolchildren learn to read from it.
Lessons go like this: a rule is attached to a graphic image, how a letter is read in a word, and not in the alphabet. This is useful from a practical point of view: for example, the letter C in the alphabet is read as «si», but in words it often corresponds to the sound «k». Seeing the unfamiliar word «cat», the child will be able to read it independently.
Viktoriya Belavina, Chief Methodist in English
in elementary school
Each sound is associated with a specific movement to engage the child’s associative memory and create more neural connections. For example, when explaining how the letter S is read, say the word snake and show with your hand how the snake winds. The child must repeat the sound, word and movement.
Advice 3. Get a good textbook
Oxford Phonics World is suitable for studying the phonics system. But it is worth using others so as not to concentrate only on reading. It’s great if the manual is accompanied by audio materials. As a rule, audio is attached on a CD or as a link to the desired site on the Internet.
For general learning, try Pearson Education’s Excellent Starter, the first level of an English language course for elementary school children. Children learn the language by doing creative tasks, playing games and singing songs from audio materials.
Victoria Belavina, Chief Methodist in English
in elementary school
The main thing is not to put the child down for boring exercises. The textbook should be colorful and attractive.
Tip 4. Sing songs
Songs are easy to remember and move along to — just what you need when learning English. The lyrics of the song can be printed, colored and painted for visualization and orientation in the lines. And when the child already knows the words by heart — just dance and sing!
Tip 5. Try shadowing
Shadowing (from English shadowing ) is a technique of repetition behind the speaker. What you need:
- turn on a familiar audio fairy tale in your child’s headphones,
- put the familiar text of the fairy tale in front of the child,
- turn on the voice recorder.
The task of the child is to repeat the story after the announcer, trying to keep up. It is important to completely imitate the sound — all intonations and emotions. This is to improve your pronunciation. No.
Source: freepik.com Find an emotional speaker that is fun to follow. In parallel with the repetition, you can and should “monkey” — use facial expressions and movements.
Ideally, you should spend about 10-15 minutes a day shadowing fairy tales. Listen to your voice recorder to track your progress. Each time, the child will get better and better, and relatives will soon be surprised at the pronunciation.
Tip 6. Put on theater skits
Theater in English is a great opportunity to practice speaking. You will create a playful foreign language environment in which the child easily memorizes words, unleashes creativity and develops expressive pronunciation.
It’s great if you manage to attract friends and relatives. Choose a simple scene from your favorite work and put it in the circle of relatives. Scenarios for performances for toddlers at the entry level are available on the Internet.
Tip 7. Make crafts
The effect of learning a language is cooler if the child interacts with the outside world using English in practice. For second-graders and third-graders, the Foxford home online school hosts crafting webinars in English. The guys do crafts or draw using English.
Combine business with pleasure — take your child to an English-language crafting workshop for kids or watch tutorials on Youtube. If you make things with your own hands and pronounce actions in English, mastering the language is much more effective.
Tip 8. Exercise regularly
You will notice the result of training if the classes are systematic. Develop a plan — for example, start playing language learning for 45 minutes twice a week and see if your child likes it.
We will never master a foreign language «perfectly» — after all, no one knows even their native language perfectly. But you can strive for it!
90 008 Irina Ganina
At Foxford Primary Online School, parents build an individual class schedule together with a methodologist. It is important to prescribe the intensity of the lessons in it: 1-2 times a week or more often. The number of classes depends on the level of knowledge, the student’s workload and the deadlines set by the parent.
You can start teaching your child English from birth — up to 3-7 years, the highest probability is to master the language at a steep level. The basis of language learning should be listening and video sequence. The task of the child is to listen to authentic speech as much as possible, imitate it, imitate and repeat.
To teach your child English from scratch, do not put your child on boring textbooks, grammar rules and letters to imaginary friends. Education should be lively and varied — with cartoons, songs, theatrical scenes.
And in order to teach your child English correctly, it is recommended not only to study with him on your own, but also to trust professionals. Then the child will definitely not have to “relearn” from incorrectly learned structures or rules later.
How to teach a child English at home
Modern parents realize the value of learning a foreign language from early childhood. But how to approach this correctly, to attract the interest of the baby and instill a love for another language many do not know. Do not be discouraged if you yourself do not speak English at a sufficient level.
In fact, you know a lot more words than you think. We all learned words like mother, father, cat, dog, green, red, tall, small , etc. at school. This will be enough for the initial stage, since you just need to «lay the foundation».
It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.
What will help your children become successful people is not what you do for them, but what you do for them.
what they have learned from you to do for themselves.
~ Ann Landers
In our article, we have selected tips for you that will help you turn learning English into an exciting pastime with your child.
How do you know if a child is ready for English classes?
Some children can learn English at three years old, while others should not start until 6-7 years old
To begin with, let’s figure out at what age is it better to start training .
Children under 3 years old are not very assiduous and attentive and will rather slowly learn the material. But with children 4-5 years old it will be easier.
If your child speaks his native language well enough, pronounces all sounds distinctly and correctly, and also has a satisfactory vocabulary, then you can safely start learning a foreign language.
Create an environment conducive to learning.
Tell your child about other cultures and countries where English is spoken. Explain why you need to learn the language of other people.
If possible, then create an English corner at home , where all your materials necessary for studying will be stored: books, CDs, special toys, posters, etc.
Set up an activity schedule.
When exactly to practice is, of course, up to you. Regarding the duration of the lesson, it is most effective to practice for 10-15 minutes during the day. In the future, you can increase the duration, as the child becomes more diligent.
Try to complete scheduled tasks at the same time every day . Make your classes regular. Discuss with your child what you will do.
Children feel confident and comfortable when they know what is ahead of them. For example, come up with some kind of game on the way home from kindergarten or school, sing a song while taking a bath, read a book before bed.
Cartoons and songs in English for children
Include educational cartoons in English in your classes. Bright colors and funny voices will attract children’s attention, plus they are easy to understand. You can start with «Dora the Explorer» , and later move on to Disney cartoons.
Children’s shows will be very useful for you — children like to watch other children (especially their peers) through the TV or computer screen. Songs are one of the effective methods of learning new words and improving pronunciation.
Start with simple songs like «The ABC song» . In the future, use songs in which the words are often repeated and are easy to understand. For example, a very good teaching song for young learners would be «Old McDonald» . With it, they will not only learn the names of animals in English, but also improve their pronunciation.
Inspire your child.
It was your idea to have your child start learning another language. Don’t forget to support, motivate him and motivate yourself. Studying the language in parallel with your child , you create a successful platform for him, as you are an authority for him.
If your activities are interesting to you, then your child will be doubly interested. He needs your approval, support, inspiration and praise. Encourage your child, say that you are proud of him. This is very important for children.
Do not criticize, mark his achievements.
Criticism is a fatal mistake of many parents. Criticizing a child, focusing on his mistakes — you discourage him from any desire to learn the language.
Correct errors in a way that does not hurt the child’s feelings. Remember that you should evaluate his success, not blame him for his mistakes. Give importance to even the smallest successes and victories.
How to teach English to kids?
Play is the best way to motivate your child to learn English.
English can be promoted by various, perhaps in your opinion, even the most trivial situations . For example, when dressing some thing, or simply collecting toys, a child can pronounce these words in English.
Having studied the topic «Food», during a trip to the store, it will be possible to give the child a list of products that need to be bought in the store (you can use cards). Reinforce the words as you go through the purchases at home.
Children get tired quickly and get bored.
Most importantly, don’t overdo it. If the child begins to lose interest in the task, or simply does not want to do it right now, do not insist on continuing and do not force him.
The best thing in this situation would be to take a break or change activities, and after a while return to the previous task, provided that the child wants to do this.
Your main task is to interest and constantly motivate the child.