As you know, many children learn English (as well as other foreign languages) for the sake of a good grade or because “Mom said so.
However, in order to get better results, the child himself must want to know the language. Even though children are much better at absorbing information and remembering it faster, they need to understand why they want it, especially in an area like learning a new language.
How do you get attention?
Setting “knowing English, you can find a prestigious job in 20 years” or “English will help you in your adult life to communicate with people from different countries” is hardly a strong motivation for a 7-10 year old child. Instead, it is better to say that knowledge of the language will open up so many opportunities for you to explore our world, that you will be able to watch the latest cartoons and read the most interesting books, which have not yet been translated into Russian. That is, you need to use what is important to the child now, for example:
Set English as the primary language on the computer he uses;
Buy exciting board games in English;
Play his favorite cartoons and movies in English;
Go to a concert of his favorite English-speaking artist and afterwards offer to learn the lyrics of his song;
Give your child exciting, colorful books about their hobbies in English: about outer space, soccer, fashion, and favorite actors.
Learning English through games
Since a child learns the world in a mostly playful way at a young age, it is necessary to involve him in learning English through games. You can choose his favorite toys, tell him what they are called, and make up a whole story of their life together in English. Many parents and teachers use the tactic of combining visual, auditory and tactile perception, giving the child the opportunity to hear, see and touch the object whose name needs to be learned. This method helps speed up the memorization of new words and expressions and encourages the child to learn new material, as he will be interested to know more and more names of his favorite things.
Many children really enjoy guessing things. Take as a basis a well-known game where a piece of paper with the name of a famous person/hero of a movie or cartoon is molded on his forehead, and the child must, asking questions, guess who he is. Of course, the questions and answers must be in English.
A large part of our lives is spent with various gadgets in our hands. Many children are familiar with phones and tablets practically from diapers. Download a program or game online that will help you learn English. There are many options now, including free ones that both entertain and educate children. Your child will be interested in earning points in an interesting game and won’t notice how many new words and constructions he will learn himself.
From simple to complex
When we start learning a new area for us, whether it’s a foreign language or engineering, we always start with the basics, consistently increasing the load. Also with children, start with simple words and structures, do not overload the child if you see that he can not cope and always praise him for every successful step.
Don’t forget about school!
If your child is already in school, you should also pay attention to how English is taught there. There are a number of things that not only do not help to enthuse and interest in a foreign language, but on the contrary, it kills all desire to learn a new thing.
For example, in many Russian schools, most of the lessons are devoted to dry memorization of boring rules and exceptions to them. Children do not talk much about topics that are interesting to them, but only rote another text and dialogue. While this is cer
tainly helpful, theory often comes at the expense of speaking.
Also, schools typically have little or no creative component. Teachers rarely offer children to watch a film, to sing and translate a well-known song, to act out skits from movies and cartoons in English. And yet, this is the format of the lesson that not only contributes to excellent memorization of new material, but also instills in the child an interest and love for the new culture.
Pay special attention to those moments that are not practiced in schools and work with your child in these areas so that he or she understands that learning is not just a boring cramming of rules and doing the same type of exercises, but also an opportunity to have a new approach to his or her favorite games and creative activities.
Be sure to give praise!
Do not forget that everyone makes mistakes, especially in such a difficult task as learning a foreign language. Scolding for them in any case is not necessary. Instead, try to figure out together what caused the error and what you need to do to avoid it happening again. Do not forget to praise children, even for small victories, so it engenders the motivation for further learning. You will notice that the child will become more diligent and hardworking. Focus on the positives, not on the failures.
Remember that no matter what, parents are in any case the most important and authoritative people for the child. The child needs to see that you are interested in what he is doing. Do more activities together, arrange family competitions and contests in English, and success will not be long in coming!