Help your child learn English

by learn a language journalist

Activities you can try together at home.

With schools closing due to Coronavirus, parents around the world are asking the same question – how do I help my child learn English at home?

We’re here to help, with free advice and activities you can try at home.

What kind of activities can we do at home?

Regular practice is best for learning a language, so if you can, try to learn ‘a little and often’.

Keep activities short and fun (3–10 minutes for children aged 5–12). However, if your child is enjoying working on their own, let them control their activity times.

Here are some activities that you can try with your child:

Try adding English into your normal, everyday routines. There are so many opportunities to practise language naturally in real situations around your home.

Should we copy school as closely as possible?

As busy parents, dealing with many different responsibilities, it’s about getting the right balance that works for your family.

Teachers in school have to prepare timetables and lessons designed for a whole class. Learning at home, you have more freedom to focus on your child’s favourite interests and activities. You can think about what works best for your child.

Learners of all ages achieve more when they are enjoying their learning and finding it interesting and meaningful. So don’t be afraid to have some fun!

Here are some of the main questions you could consider:

Activity suggestion:

Ask your child to pretend to be the head teacher, and create their own ‘dream timetable of activities’. Let them choose how to present it. For example, they could write and decorate a poster, present it in a video, make a scrapbook, or write a blog post.

Can I support my child if I’m not confident in English, and have limited available time?

Yes! You can give your child the best support by offering encouragement and praise. This helps build your child’s confidence and their belief in their own ability. Encourage them when they show responsibility for their own learning, and praise them for their efforts.

Other friends and family members can offer encouragement too. Using video apps such as Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp, your child could show a friend or family member what they’re working on. Your child might enjoy reading them an English story, singing them an English song, or testing their spellings together.

You could even ask your child to be responsible for teaching another family member some English. Did you know, teaching someone else is one of the best ways to learn? 

Tip suggestion:

If your child has problems, don’t be too quick to help with the answers. Sometimes a child just needs some time by themselves to work through the problem. If they are still stuck, ask them to put on their ‘teacher hat’. Can they think of any ideas about what to try next? For example, use a dictionary, look in a textbook, try some internet research.

Ready to try some more activities?

Keep your child busy every day, with 30 fun activities.

Check out these free activities your child can try by themselves at home. Available for primary-aged children and secondary-aged children.

Find more activities in the Parents and children section of our website.

This content was originally published here.

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