There was a time when education experts in the country believed that learning or knowing two or more languages was a handicap because it forced the children to constantly distinguish between them. Fortunately, things have changed. Now, you will be hard-pressed to find people who do not believe in the benefits of English as Second Language (ESL). With the growing number of English language learners (ELLs), it has been increasingly clear that choosing to learn a second language doesn’t just help kids improve their cognitive abilities but also contributes to their social and emotional development. In addition to that, children who speak two or more languages can become friends with a wider variety of classmates while also connecting and maintaining strong relationships with their communities.
Learning English in a classroom setting, although quite effective, can also be challenging. This is why it is important that parents put in the time and effort to continue and support that learning at home. Here’s what you can do:
Maintain a vocabulary journal at home
When learning a new language, children often struggle with vocabulary, especially with understanding words required to comprehend a concept. For this reason, maintaining a vocabulary journal at home can be immensely beneficial. Encourage ELLs to create and maintain a journal where they can write down new words they learn in the classroom every day. They can use that journal to practice their writing, play literacy games, try picture-word association, and so on.
Help them create a study routine
Having a structured routine plays a pivotal role in helping children get the most out of their lessons. So, make sure your ELL has a dedicated time and place where they can work on their English skills. The area should be well-lit and free from distractions. It should have all the resources and materials they might need to learn, such as books, stationery, and so on.
Provide them with access to the right resources
Today, you will find a great variety of ESL resources for ELLs that are designed to help make the learning process more fun and interesting. For instance, story books, audiobooks, videos, and even video games are interesting ways to learn English. These tools and resources will keep your child from getting overwhelmed while also making them excited about learning.
Continue to use your native language at home
While learning English, you shouldn’t stop using your native language at home. It has been found that if children have a strong grasp of one language, it also transfers to the other. This means their command over their native language will help your child learn English more effectively. Moreover, ELLs are able to remain connected with their identity and heritage through their native language.
While it is common in some bilingual families to keep schooling and home separate, you need to remember that getting involved in your child’s education can have innumerable benefits.
If you want your child to become proficient in English, get in touch with us at The Family Learning Company. We offer an extensive selection of family literacy tools and resources, including fun reading games for ELLs, ESL programs, phonics games, and more. Whether you want to improve your or your child’s basic English reading and writing skills, here you will find all you need for effective learning.