Nowadays knowledge of foreign languages (English in particular as it is the main tool of international communication) is not just a pleasant excess, but an urgent need. It is obvious to most of the parents, but still, one question remains: at what age should you start English lessons for kids?
There is no common point of view: some specialists recommend starting English lessons with children aged 3-4 years old, others suggest waiting for a more conscious age (5-6 years), while others consider learning from the first grade to be optimal. It is up to the parents to decide.
How to understand if your child is ready to learn?
Each child is unique. They grow up differently. In this matter, it is extremely important to show not only your wish to have a bilingual child but also objectivity. Focus on your child without comparing him or her to your friends' daughter or son.
What do you need to pay attention to? Teaching English to children should not begin if:
• Your child is unconfident in his native language (you notice such problems as limited vocabulary, pronunciation defects, difficulties with logical connections).
• Your child is unwilling to actively acknowledge the world around him yet.
• You are not psychologically prepared yourself (it is necessary to start learning English with the child, and it is better to already know the language at least at the basic level).
When the balance between the "pros" and "cons" cannot be found, it is worthwhile to go experimentally: if your child feels bored or not interested during the trial lesson give him time and don't hurry up. On the contrary, a delight from the lesson will work as a good sign.
You cannot be late with starting lessons – "it is never too late to learn", while starting too early may be destructive. The essential thing is to choose the right and tested in practice methods of teaching.
English for babies: modern techniques
Children are better learners than adults. It is easier for them to catch a new language - they don't have any problems reconciling with an unusual linguistic system and there is no need to "re-educate" the articulating apparatus. Therefore, the basis of most teaching methods is the game format.
Opposite to adults children don't usually need sequential (scheduled) classes: young learner needs to be interested, carried away, and offered with something exciting. The learning process should be diverse and dynamic, without long explanations. For the smallest students this can be:
• implementing the greeting phrases in English into the communication, naming family members, etc.;
• using the training cards with vivid pictures (colors, animals, objects, famous characters);
• singing funny English songs with a catchy melody and melodic rhymes;
• reading fairy tales with a gradual transition from adding English words into the text in his native language to fully-English simplified versions.
English for children 4-6 years old
Education in this age implies a closer acquaintance with new words (accumulation of vocabulary), mini-dialogs (for example, playing funny scenes using dolls for hands), watching colorful educational videos and cartoons.
It is recommended to start learning grammar when a child reaches school age and to provide it in a semi-playful form (from this moment learning stops being just an entertaining game, however, it is necessary to keep the student interested and curious).
Electronic materials will help here:
• colorful presentations;
• videos with an obvious and straightforward presentation of the rules;
• short fun games and handouts (coloring books, logic exercises);
Various forms of material ensure the participation of different parts of the brain in the process. So small learners memorize new information faster and easier. At the same time, it is important to make sure your child properly understands one or another rule, therefore, tests cannot be ignored. However, they need to be in the game form - kid should be unafraid of not passing the test – his mistakes should look more like a return a few cells back during the board game.
Advantages of studying at CIS International School
Most parents are convinced that starting to learn English is simple: you need to find a competent teacher or a good school. And this is exactly the right approach which guarantees efficiency and results.
Specialists of the CIS International School:
• use the best modern methods of teaching foreign languages for children;
• have access to relevant innovations in education and constantly follow the trends, introducing new successful tools;
• are experienced in dealing with children and can create high engagement;
• provide a realistic assessment of the child's skills and select an individual program;
We know how to teach English – please, learn more about our opportunities on the site.
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