“Focus on your work…”
“Stop playing with your stationery!”
Many parents know the pain of teaching a child that doesn’t like to read or study at the desk.
To an active and playful child, having to sit and read or do page after page of English homework is a chore. Assessment books become dreaded mental torture devices; It is hard not to imagine anything else being an easy distraction to that child.
Yet, we know that to learn English effectively, students need to be immersed in an environment that is supportive of learning. This is because the best (and painless) kinds of learning happen when we are not even conscious of it).
But for parents, due to the stress of ever-impending exams and constant lack of time, resort to assignments and printed work.
But good news - it’s the holidays! With the benefit of time, parents can take this time to instil the love for learning and create an environment that is most conducive for learning.
This is why, in this article, we are presenting fun and useful methods you can create a supportive environment that makes learning English easy for your child. We want to show that learning English (or any language) can be easy and fun.
1. A Game of Competitive Scrabble
The gift of play is the greatest gift you can give to a child.
Scrabble, one of many classic board games, is not an antiquated game played by your generation or those that came before you.
The Scrabble app is popular on the Android and IOS market. ‘Words with Friends 2’ (named differently for trademark reasons) is a popular take on the classic game, has more than 250 million downloads, and more than 57 million games being played at any given moment.
More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to play a game of scrabble with your child and stay connected.
If you teach Scrabble to your children, you are teaching them a game which builds vocabulary and word skills. When children become more interested in the words being used around them, it helps to build their language skills.
When we're talking about beginning level Scrabble games, we aren't talking about learning long lists of arcane words. We're talking about using words that are largely in the everyday vocabulary. Children will see these words being used and learn something about them.
Kick it up a notch and offer a challenge reward if your child can beat you at the game. Without knowing it, your child will be looking at the dictionary and paying attention spelling.
2. Create your own Escape Room at home!
An escape room, also known as an "escape game", is a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms.
Escape rooms teach valuable life skills that are highly applicable to education. A student needs to practice teamwork, time management, problem-solving, focus under pressure, and respect. Escape rooms encourage all these valuable traits.
In Singapore, there are various entertainment venues that offer a range of themed rooms.
But there is no reason why you cannot plan and create a series of tasks for your kids to escape from. This will take a high level of research and creativity, but the outcome will be extremely rewarding for your kids.
This can be played as a solo game or with friends during Christmas or birthday parties, creating a really unique (and educational) experience.
3. Recreate various segments of a non-English film in English
Challenge your kids to recreate a popular non-English film with a smartphone or camera!
This is an activity that will challenge your child to transcribe, translate, and act. In each of these activities, they can use available tools such as dual language dictionary and google translator.
Give them the tools to translate tough dialogue. Translation is an important skill and it also challenges the translator to consider similar words that carry different meanings. Through understanding nuances, your child will be a better student of English.
And those are 3 fun ways you can get your child to start learning English in fun and exciting ways! Do you know of other fun learning methods parents or teachers can implement at home or in the classroom? Do tell us on our social media!