How Children Learn to Speak English at Home

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The peak of growth and development of children falls between the age of 3 and 9. At 3, children have rich imaginations and love to play physical games. And when they approach the age of 9, they become more independent and confident about exploring new things. Therefore, this period is good for learning something new, especially learning spoken English.

Adults may find it hard to master a foreign language, but children between 3 and 9 have a higher capacity for learning language. It might actually be easier for them to learn how to speak English fluently in a shorter amount of time.

But it’s also important for English teachers to choose a correct approach to conveying their knowledge. One of such approaches is to learn English at home in a one-on-one setting. For adults it’s also possible to learn English at home for free without a teacher, but children will need someone to show them the ropes.

How Different Learner Types Learn English

how kids learn english,

Before we proceed to learning spoken English tips for kids, it’s important to understand which learner type your student belongs to. This has been covered in greater depth in a previous post, but the most common learner types are as follows:

  1. Visual
  2. Verbal
  3. Kinesthetic
  4. Auditory

When you know what kind of learner type a child is, it becomes easier for you to find out how he or she can learn English at home. It’s important to note that these are not rigid categories and children can learn English through a more multifaceted approach. Here are a few ideas for each learner type:

  • For visual types, you can use pictures, presentations, graphics, and other similar methods to convey information. You can also encourage encourage children to draw.
  • For verbal types, you can prepare reading or writing tasks as well as short multiple choice quizzes.
  • Kinesthetic types would enjoy playing active games and moving around as much as possible. For example, Oxford University developed a special exercise program for children. It appeared that this program helped the kids to absorb information better. The reason is that the exercise draws blood to the brain, generating new connections between neurons.
  • As for auditory types, you can read aloud to children, have them listen to audiobooks, play pronunciation games, or sing songs together. Encourage them to discuss what they heard.

Check out these fun english vocabulary games for your students.

Teaching Styles For Children Learning English at Home

In addition to learner types, it’s also important to consider the teaching styles, or the approaches that teachers use to pass over information to students. There is, of course, a lot of variation, buts styles usually fall within one of these three categories.

Teacher-focused style

This style is used mostly by college professors when giving lectures to students and it’s less suitable for younger children. To learn to speak in English, kids typically need more interaction with their tutors.

Learner-focused style

This style gives more freedom to learners, while a teacher acts more as a coach. However, it is questionable whether this approach can be used to learn English step by step.

Content-focused style

This style is most effective when teaching languages, because it is centered around the learning material, the English language in our case. To learn basic English speaking, children can describe things that interest them most by using a maximum number of English words.

How Kids Learn Can Learn English Best

Classroom learning differs from other approaches kids use to learn spoken English at home. And of course it’s more difficult to work with several kids with different learning styles than with one child. We’ll give you some tips that may help if your child wants to know how to learn English easily at home.

Get the most out of the surroundings

For example, you can ask the kid to name several surrounding items in English, or stick a post-it note with a written name of the item.

Pay attention to timing

When children learn the English language at home, they might get tired very quickly. Therefore, classes for kids under 10 should be shorter than for adults, i.e. 30 minutes instead of 1 hour.

Practice more

If your young students are non-native English speakers, it’s important that they speak as much as possible to train their language skills. Plan as much interaction as possible, as it will be both interesting and useful for a child.

Consider your students’ interests

Encourage them to speak in English about something that is interesting to them.

Reward your students

Turn your lessons into exciting games with prizes that will motivate the kids to learn English quickly at home. For example, you can give them bonus points, maybe even in the form of physical items, such as small toys or treats.

Use computer technology

Computer technology is especially useful when you teach children from home by using Skype. For example, Cambridge University developed a computer program that teaches children to pronounce various sounds in English. As a result, the kids learn to recognize which sounds are produced by certain combinations of letters.

Break down the material into small chunks

In such a way, it would be easier for your young students to process the information.

Now you have an understanding of how children can learn to speak English fluently at home. We hope that the use of this information and these tips will help your students to learn English speaking step by step.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent article! Great tips! Using a combination of these things will also speed the learning of English. I teach Kindergarten and we try to find activities that will incorporate all the learning styles and reach all children.

  2. To use all of the senses in teaching allows for each child’s learning style.
    Very sensible; good information here. If we incorporate it, we will be more effective teachers!

  3. These are principles used in VipKid teaching, which is why I think the company is so successful with teaching kids.

  4. Great article! It is so important to determine the student’s learning style and present material to meet all styles of learning.

  5. Good article! Lot of good information. We all have different learning styles, and a good teachers finds ways to teach to the child’s strengths.

  6. How children learn to speak English at home practice practice and practice; Role playing has become increasingly more fun too. Allowing the student to become the teacher makes the student more engaged for they hear a response in a different tone and expression.

    • I agree with reversing roles. My dance teacher always had us re-teach a new lesson right away. This method quickly showed every student what he or she had really grasped. The re-teaching process started at age 12, preparing young athletes to be leaders in their field later in life. We also learned the new material at a faster rate, because of the oral reinforcement. By age 15 I was able to teach an adult class with confidence.

  7. Awesome info that you are sharing. I am a retired K-12 Spanish teacher and see many common traits and methods while teaching ESL. Thanks for sharing! 👍

  8. I love how the article breaks down learning styles and gives practical application ideas for my VIP classroom!

  9. Children do make speedy progress once the teacher is in sync with the students learning style. Being able to adapt to the students strengths takes time and practice!

  10. Great nod to learning styles! We all need to remember that our students learn and express through different lenses. Thanks for the awesome article!

  11. Brief, but informative article – notice the best ways to learn English the best are included within the VIPKID lesson structure. 🙂

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