5 tips from scientists on how to practice English with a child


Tip 1. Start as early as possible

The connections responsible for language functions in the brain are most flexible before the age of 4 years. That is why when learning a second language before this age, the child has the best chance of mastering it perfectly (Briggs, 2013).

Tip 2. Learn by talking

It is easier to understand and learn the language coming from a person (and not from TV or songs). The child sees where the adult is looking and gets a hint about the meaning of the word. Such «highly informative examples» are most valuable for expanding a child’s vocabulary (Cartmill, 2013).

Tip 3. Follow your child

It has been proven that if parents are involved in the learning process, then their children learn the language better than their peers (Spera, 2005). But everything needs a measure — it is known that in the process of learning a language there is a “period of silence”, when children must first listen, learn to recognize and understand words before they begin to pronounce them. It is important not to put pressure on the baby at this time.

Tip 4. Learn by playing

The kid does not need pressure “you have to learn English”, language learning in the game is one of the forms of involuntary learning (Asher, 2009). In play, babies show the highest level of cognitive activity (Bruce, 2002).

Tip 5. Learn English with a Purpose

Language cannot be learned in a vacuum: the student must see a specific purpose for using the language. Chat with an English-speaking friend (for example, a mitten doll), read a book with your mother, play a game in English. Books and songs help children to guess and draw conclusions when learning a foreign language (Edelenbos, Johnstone and Kubanek, 2006). Therefore, in the classroom it is important to create a need for the child so that he tries to understand the meaning of English words in context.

Materials from the Umnitsa®. Skylark English kit. This set was designed in the UK specifically for babies from birth. With it, every mother will be able to teach her child English, in the game. Are you already learning English with your child?

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