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How to make your child interested in learning English? Here are some top tips on how to motivate your child to learn English | British International School

7 February 2022

Every parent has at least once wondered how to motivate their child to learn English. In this article, we will analyse and comment on the main mistakes that are made when learning the language and share recommendations on how you can help your child.

The process of learning any foreign language is complex and time-consuming, so to get the desired result, you need to have a clear and strong motivation. At preschool age, children do not yet realise the benefits of learning English, which is why it is the parents who should provide them with support.

Why is it necessary to know English?

In the modern world, the concepts of borders between countries are becoming increasingly blurred. The English Language has taken on the role of a common language in the process of communication, opening a wide range of new opportunities to study and obtain exciting future careers as there are thousands of universities offering study programmes in English.

If you want to choose English for your child’s development or you are planning to study abroad, then it is worth starting to learn English from an early age. Often even parents fail to provide enough motivation, therefore many children eventually decide to stop learning. Here it is important to identify these mistakes.

Main mistakes that lead to lack of motivation:

1. Wrong attitude to the English language

Many parents take learning English for granted. Children begin to feel a lot of pressure,  responsibility, and even a fear of making mistakes. Over time, the influence of these negative emotions only intensifies. In this case, it is necessary to give your child an understanding that language learning can be an easy and entertaining process, especially at preschool age.

2. Wrong expectations

All children are different. But even the most motivated child will not be able to maintain a strong willingness to learn English if they do not see the desired progress. Learning a language is a long and hard process. Although progress can be almost imperceptible, you should always praise your kids even for small achievements so they know they are on the right track.

3. Wrong goals

Many parents make a mistake when they tell their children about the glorious job prospects. But in fact, most kids, especially at an early age, are interested in achieving other goals.  It is important to explain that with the help of English kids will also be able to travel more, find new foreign friends, have the opportunity to read their favorite books in the original language, watch an interview with their favorite actor, understand the meaning of their favorite song and even sing along to it. Therefore, when choosing a right goal, parents should focus on the immediate interests of the child, and not on distant prospects.

4. Comparing with other children

This mistake is made by almost every parent. Usually, children rely more on the opinion of their loved ones rather than strangers’ comments. So when they hear criticism from their parents, kids can feel awkward and even ashamed to the point that it can discourage their progress.

Instead of comparing your child with others, you should make appropriate remarks on the progress made by a kid. Do not forget to praise the children, because your words are very important to them.

What advice can a school give to motivate kids to learn English?

1. Learn with your child

Especially at the initial stage of learning, it is very important for the child to give the necessary motivation and support.

2. Teach through games

Learning a foreign language is usually associated with textbooks and the endless memorisation of grammar rules, words, and phrases. The child will simply become bored and lose all interest and desire to learn. Here, games with cards can come in handy. A great option is the “Show Me” game where you lay out several cards in front of a child, and then they need to choose one card and name what is shown on it.

3. Watch English cartoons

Cartoons always attract the child's attention. Animated characters speak simple English, so even if the child does not have enough vocabulary to understand it completely, scenes and emotions of the characters will help to guess the meaning of words. What is more, such cartoons are short and last about 20 minutes so that the child will not get tired of the learning process.

4. Understand the lyrics and read English books with your child 

Learning English from songs is not only exciting but also a useful way to learn the language. Children can get acquainted with a foreign culture, learn a lot of new words, practice listening skills, and even improve pronunciation.

Reading in English plays a similar role in the learning process, but to have a better result, a child should read a book aloud.

5. Demonstrate the usage of English  

It is important to give additional motivation to the child but try to not overdo it. At school age many children are frightened by the uncertainty of their plans for the future, so the best option would be to demonstrate that knowing English is useful for them in the future.

6. Choose the right literature

When choosing a book to read, it is important to pay attention to the age recommendations of the authors. The book should be age-appropriate. For example, for children aged 2-5 years, the book should be with bright illustrations, large texts, preferably designed in such a way that the child can guess what the book is about without translation.

It is also important to consider the level of English. You should not start reading gigantic texts at the initial stage of the study, otherwise, the child will quickly lose interest.

7. Praise your child

Regular approval from their parents will help the children to believe in themselves, in their strength, and maintain motivation for a long time.

8. Choose a good teacher

In the British International School at the international programme, learning English begins at the age of 3 years. From the first days, children are completely immersed in a foreign language environment, which facilitates the process of learning a language. The school also offers an English language course for EAL beginners, especially for students who need extra classes.

At the Russian branch, English is taught from the age of 8 in an interesting game format. Children learn the basics of the language and move on to more complex tasks. Experienced native-speaker teachers closely monitor their progress and are always ready to help. To learn more about studying at BIS primary and secondary schools, please click on the link below

In conclusion, studying together with a parent is certainly an exciting process, but for complete immersion in the language, professionals are needed, especially native English speakers. At the British International School, highly qualified specialists from the UK and other English-speaking countries will create all the conditions for successful language learning for a child: a multicultural atmosphere, an individual approach to everyone, and high-quality teaching methods.

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