Childhood years are the most crucial in your kid’s life. This is the foundation that shape’s their future learning, growth and overall development. Children learn quickly during these years as their perceptions are fresh and due to brain readiness.This applies to learning a new language as well. Learning an extra language, especially a commonly spoken one like English, is very helpful for your child’s future. But that being the case, learning a new language must be made an enjoyable experience for the kids to make them passionate about the whole process. The best way to make them enjoy the process is through activities that make them feel like they are having fun rather than learning. There are a lot of fun ways to do this, some of which we have listed below.
- Learning through digital media: Before technology took over every space of our lives, learning a language other than your mother toungue was restricted to a classroom. Thanks to the digitalization, kids are tech-savvy at a very young age.Videos about the English language make their learning experience effective and fun. For example, while teaching idioms to the kids, you can play animated videos that make them understand the context in a humorous yet fun way.
- Learning though commands and gestures:When your child is very young, you can fill your daily conversations with plenty of crisp action words to help them associate words to actions and objects.For example, a simple chore like “Rahul, can you please pick up the newspaper?” when combined with a hand gesture pointing at the newspaper helps your child understand the action and associate the name of the object with the actual object. While most schools do add a picture of an object in their textbooks, seeing them in real life helps learn the right word for it. Learning through gestures is a lot of fun, simple and effective.
- Learning through movies and TV series: Watching animated movies is something every kid enjoys and looks forward to. Movies like Finding Dory, Toy Story, Inside Out, Frozen, not only are filled with captivating animation but can be a great way for your child to get more comfortable with the English language.You can start by watching movies with subtitles and gradually omit the subtitles to help them follow the story. It also can help your little one understand English in various accents and dialects.
- Learning through reading: One of the most enjoyable and effective ways to learn English is to read. With so many story books and comics in the market today, reading is a whole lot of fun. Set aside a time during the day in your child’s busy life to ensure that they reada small portion of a book every day. While you can pick simple books or comics from your local book store or library, you can also make your kids read more through online reading games.
- Learning through online activities: There are plenty of activities that interest kids in an interactive and engaging way. Playing such games or activities with your kids not only makes them more interested in learning the language, but also helps you spend quality time with your child sharing a common love for the English language. For instance, if you are teaching vocabulary, here are some memory gamesthat can be useful.
- Learning through board games: Board games are the best way to have a fun evening at home with the family. But this funcan be filled with a rich learning experience.Games like Scrabble can build their vocabulary while games like Taboo can push them to think out-of-the-box ways to describe common words. Additionally, simple games like word building, where words needs to be built from the last letter of the previous word, can be a good exercise for understanding vocabulary as well as for improving pronunciation. Including these games in your children’s play time makes them learn and enhance their language skills..
- Learning through Humour: Humour can be instrumental in exposing your children to complicated concepts like pun, idioms, proverbs, etc. While children may not fully understand the complexities of a joke, however it can help them in the long run.Plus all kids love humor and after all, learning should be fun!
- Learning through mnemonic devices: The best way to help kids learn and retain concepts are to use Mnemonic device. Any technique that uses encoding or retrieval clues can be used as Mnemonic devices. They are a great tool to help kids learn concepts and retain them for a long time.A simple one that we were taught as kids was the Knuckle mnemonic for recollecting the number of days in each month, which is still in use. Likeweise, you can also create these mnemonic devices or use pre-existing ones to help your kids learn and retain concepts easily. For example: the mnemonic, “A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream” is used to make kids remember the spelling of the word arithmetic. Learning the English language using these tools is not only fun but also enriching.
- Learning through young learners’ program: Learning a new language does not have to be a scary session for kids. With interactive courses offered both online and offline, learning the English language can be a fun task. Courses like Cambridge’s Young Learners Program are helping kids and parents alike in making the humongous task of learning the English language, a fun and an entertaining task. The course is structured to help your kids learn English in the most pleasant and fun way possible. This will help them in the longer run, as a Certification in English makes them stand out from the crowd.
Learning the English language can be positive experience for your kids with these suggestions. Teaching English through fun ways motivates the kids to learn, understand and retain their concepts better. Also, if learning a language also lets you spend quality time with your kids, then isn’t it a win-win?