Motivation can drive a child to self-direct his/her learning of the English language. Hence, it is important to keep your child excited about learning English. In case you have ever wondered how to keep a child motivated to keep learning the language – here are 8 quick tips:
- Always be encouraging and actively get involved in the learning journey that your child is on. Let your child see that you are reading, listening to music, watching movies and speaking in English. As a parent, you need to actively keep yourself included in your child’s learning experience instead of expecting them to learn on their own. At a young age, self-directed learning is not something you should expect of your child.
- Understand your child’s mood and pick the right time to encourage your child to work on practicing their English. The child’s mood should be receptive. Your child should not be tired or annoyed. Placing your child under pressure to work on their English will make them feel stressed out and will kill their motivation to learn new words or to ask questions. If your child says that he or she is tired after any learning activity, choose another time to continue instead of forcing them to keep going on.
- Let your child choose what he or she wants to read. Allowing your child to have a choice over what he or she gets to learn next can be an excellent motivator. It allows your child to choose the topics that they feel comfortable with while learning the language. This also gives you an opportunity to find out what your child really likes!
- Support your child when he/she is doing homework or practicing the language. Children (and adults learners!) are often unwilling to do their homework or study for school tests. As a parent you need to create a regular routine for homework and also to ensure that the routine is not broken. Provide help and try to be supportive and encouraging despite how tired out you may be. Praise your child for any effort they make, and be careful to avoid pointing out their mistakes and criticizing them harshly. When you correct your child, you should be gentle but firm. This will help your child develop self- confidence and a positive attitude. A child who enjoys English will be naturally motivated to practice the language.
- When you first introduce a language to a child, you must always remember that learning a new language must be maintained as a fun and fulfilling experience for the child. Always try to include fun activities that aid with learning. Children can pick up the basics of the English language as they play. In fact, they often pick up the basics of the language faster through play. Card games and board games are an easy way to inject some fun into learning.
- Make an effort to understand your child’s preferences and personality. Consider your child’s hobbies when looking for ways to motivate them to practice English. For example, energetic kids may like action games while quieter children may like word games. However, you cannot play the same type of games with your child all the time! Also, if your kid likes sports or cars, there is a good chance that they will enjoy stories and vocabulary games that relate to cars or sports.
- Provide meaningful situations that children can relate to. Kids always love playing role-playing and using their imagination. When teaching your child, you can suggest some situations, such as being at the toy store, being a school or at the restaurant, then ask your child to choose the roles they want to play. Take turns playing the different roles. If they use words or phrases in their native language (assuming it is not English) or if they use incorrect words, gently but firmly suggest the correct English word or phrase. Using role-playing exercises gives your child an immediate but non stressful need to use English. Make the situation real and more meaningful by using real objects.
- Always look for ways to encourage your child to talk to others in English. Having a real reason to speak in English and being able to successfully recognize the words they hear around them gives a high level of motivation. You could also coach your child to write a letter, postcard, letter or email to a relative or English- speaking friend.
Brought to you by the KidsEnglishCollege™ Editorial Team.
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