In today's interconnected world, English has emerged as the de facto language of communication amongst various groups. To function effectively in today’s global village, spoken English is an essential skill to have. Most Indian schools are focused solely on making students pass standardized tests that focus on reading, writing, and grammatical aspects of the language. Regular school tests rarely have a spoken component that is tested. This is the prime reason why students have a hard time developing good speaking skills.
Do you wish to help your children improve their spoken English? Here are three easy tips to get you going.
Speak, Speak and then SPEAK some more:
The best way to speak better English is to, well - speak! In many cases, Indian parents are not fluent English speakers themselves. As a result, parents are not able to help their children practice speaking English at home. It is therefore very important that parents make their children understand the need to speak in English at school as much as possible. At school, students are with their own peer group and they can explore speaking English without worrying too much about what others will think of them. In fact, with a good set of friends they can laugh away mistakes while correcting each other! Encourage your children to form such English-speaking groups.
You can also set up a weekly video call for your child and their friends, where they can discuss a predetermined topic using the English language. For example, they can decide to watch a video or a movie during the week and then discuss what they liked or disliked in it during a video call on the weekend. This will be a great opportunity for them to practice their speaking skills and have fun doing it.
Improve your child’s vocabulary:
(Description: A set of flashcards)
To speak any language well, and also to express yourself clearly in that language you must know the words of that language. There are many good online resources for improving vocabulary. Just type “How to improve English vocabulary” on Google and you will get tons of interesting and useful free resources. More than the huge selection of lessons available, what is most important is the way in which you use these resources. Instead of dabbling in many such websites, zero in on a couple of these resources and follow the instructions carefully.
An easy way to build and maintain a good vocabulary is to make a set of flashcards. Let us suppose you and your children set a target of learning 100 new words in 3 months. Ask them to make one flashcard for each word using a chart paper and some sketch pens. Write a new word on the front side of a flashcard and write the meaning of the word on the backside of it. Each day ask them to review at least 5 flashcards. It will hardly take 10-15 minutes to review a few cards on a daily basis. If done consistently it can do wonders in improving your child’s vocabulary.
(Description: A sample of ‘word wall’)
You can also set up a colourful ‘word wall’ in your house to enable a quick review of the new words. Each time your child learns new words, make small colourful cards with the words written on them. Keep adding these cards to the wall (refer to the image below). This way your child can quickly glance through them during their daily routine, thus helping them with the retention of these words.
Work hard on the pronunciation:
(Image: Google, Description: Sample of a pronunciation-related search result on Google)
Accurate pronunciation is an important requirement for speaking English fluently. You need not develop an accent, but simply looking up accurate pronunciations of words can help improve your child’s language.
For example, a lot of Indians tend to mispronounce the word ‘often’. They usually pronounce it as ‘of-ton’ rather than ‘aw-fn’.
You can simply look up the most commonly mispronounced words, and then start improving one word at a time. Look up that word on google by typing: ‘_______ pronunciation’ and google will tell you how it is pronounced. You can also choose your preferred accent in the drop-down menu (refer to the image below), and choose from Indian, American, or British and hear the word spoken out loud.
Learning a language is not particularly difficult for children. All they need is practice and a supportive environment. Whatever approach you use, don’t forget to add some fun and interaction to their learning sessions. This type of regular, interactive and immersive learning will help your child become a fluent English speaker in no time.
LEAD’s English Language and General Awareness (ELGA) programme focuses on developing skills and uses a level-based approach with multi-age classrooms. LEAD also arranges interviews with students and parents from different locations to analyse their knowledge of the English language, and where they should actually be. The report that LEAD presents to the parents after this exercise helps them realise the right indicators to identify the potential of their child.
LEAD is helping children become future-ready. To enrol your child in a LEAD Powered School: Fill the admission form now