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5 Tips to Improve Your Child’s English Language Skills

24 Jan, 2024

Recently, I had a conversation with a bright young student who expressed their concerns about the impact of AI on employment opportunities for non-native English speakers. This conversation made me realize that mastering the English language is not just about clear communication, but also about ensuring a competitive edge in a rapidly evolving job market. In this blog, I’ll share some effective tips to help parents improve their child’s English language skills, so they can not only communicate effectively but also thrive academically and professionally in today’s AI-driven world.

Having good English language skills is really important for a child’s development. It helps them communicate with others at any part of the world and share their ideas better. Strong language skills also help with academic performance and can even help with future job opportunities. Even if it’s not their native language, knowing English is still super useful because it’s spoken in lots of places around the world. Basically, learning English can help kids do well in life.

Improving your child’s English language skills can be crucial to their academic and professional success. To achieve this, you might consider incorporating reading into their daily routine and encouraging them to watch English-language TV shows or movies with subtitles. Language-learning apps like Duolingo and FluentU can also be effective tools for improving your child’s vocabulary and pronunciation skills. Practicing conversation skills with English speakers and exploring new vocabulary can also help your child gain confidence and fluency in the language. Let’s find out more. Keep reading.

1. Read Together

Reading with your child can be really good for their language and thinking skills. It helps them learn new words and sentence structures and prepares them for success in school. It’s also a great way to bond with your child and encourage a love for learning. Reading is an easy and powerful way to support your child’s development and help them do well in life.

Make reading aloud a regular activity

Choose a few books that your child enjoys and read them together at a consistent time each day, such as before bedtime. Pause occasionally to ask your child questions about the story or to encourage them to make predictions about what might happen next. Read a recipe book while cooking together or reading signs and labels while out running errands. This helps to reinforce the importance of reading and introduces your child to new vocabulary in a fun and engaging way.

2. Watch TV Shows and Movies

Incorporate age-appropriate TV shows, movies, and podcasts into their daily routine. Encourage your child to actively listen and engage with the content by asking them questions about what they are watching or listening to. You can also use subtitles to help your child see and understand the words they are hearing. This can be especially helpful for children who are learning English as a second language.

What are some TV shows and movies for children?

  • The King’s Daughter: A young woman with familial ties to King Louis XIV strives to save a mermaid from the king’s quest for immortality.
  • The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild: Weasel Buck Wild teams up with possums Crash and Eddie to prevent dinosaur domination in the Ice Age universe.
  • Child of Kamiari Month: After the death of her mother, tween Kanna embarks on a journey to the sacred land of Izumo, encountering fantastical creatures and seeking a reunion with her mom.
  • Cheaper By the Dozen: Chaos ensues when a blended family of ten kids and two parents navigate life without extra help, resulting in heartwarming moments.
  • Better Nate Than Ever: Seventh grader Nate pursues his dream of becoming a Broadway star by embarking on an adventure to attend an open audition in New York City.

Wonka and Peter Pan and Wendy are highly anticipated movies expected to be released in 2023. Wonka is a prequel to the beloved story of Willy Wonka, delving into his early life and exploring how he became the eccentric and enigmatic candy maker we know. Peter Pan and Wendy is a live-action adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale about the boy who never grows up.

3. Use Language-Learning Apps

Language learning apps like Duolingo are a great way to learn a new language. They have lessons and activities that can help you practice vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Other popular language-learning apps include FluentU, Hello Talk, and Rosetta Stone. You can usually download these apps for free and then pay for extra features if you want them.

These apps often have structured lesson plans with activities and games that help children practice their language skills. They also include features like progress tracking and in-app assessments to help gauge a child’s progress. These exercises and games often incorporate elements like rewards and challenges to keep children engaged and motivated. Adaptive learning technology is another feature of language-learning apps that adjusts the difficulty of the lessons based on a child’s progress.

4. Practice Conversation Skills

Good communication skills can help children build strong relationships with others, express their thoughts and emotions effectively, and succeed academically and professionally. Practicing speaking and comprehension skills also helps children to better understand the world around them and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Improving these skills can benefit children in many different ways and is an important part of their overall development.

You can try to find English-speaking playgroups or classes in your local area for your child to attend. This will provide an opportunity for them to interact and communicate with native speakers. Encourage your child to join online English-speaking communities that are safe and designed for children. You could also consider hiring an English tutor for your child who is a native speaker. An effort to regularly speak English with your child will work wonders too. By providing opportunities for your child to interact with native English speakers and encouraging them to practice speaking in a supportive and fun environment, you can help your child improve their English language skills.

5. Explore New Vocabulary

There are several ways to promote the acquisition of new words and phrases in children.

  • Read to your child regularly. This will expose them to a variety of words and phrases in context and help expand their vocabulary.
  • Encourage conversation and engage in dialogue with your child. This will provide opportunities for them to ask questions and learn new words and phrases.
  • Introduce your child to new experiences and environments. This will expose them to new vocabulary related to those experiences.
  • Use repetition and practice. Repeating new words and phrases in context can help children remember them and use them in conversation.
  • Utilize visual aids like flashcards or picture books to help children associate visual cues with new vocabulary. Creating a language-rich environment that encourages conversation and exposure to new words and phrases can help children acquire language skills and expand their vocabulary.

What are some engaging activities to build vocabulary and improve language skills?

1. Reading books

2. Watching educational videos

3. Playing word games

By following these 5 tips, you can make a significant difference in improving your child’s English language skills. Remember, reading together, watching TV shows and movies, using language-learning apps, practicing conversation skills, and exploring new vocabulary are all fun and effective ways to help your child excel in English. The key is to make it enjoyable and incorporate these activities seamlessly into your daily routines. Before you know it, your child will be speaking, listening, and reading English with confidence. Embrace the journey, celebrate their progress, and watch as your child’s English language skills develop!