As the winter break and Chinese New Year are approaching, it’s important for students to have the opportunity to practice their English over the holidays.
Catherine, our Head of English Department, would like to offer you some tips to help children improve English at home. She stressed that the four areas of English acquisition-listening, speaking, reading and writing are equally important. We share the tips in two posts and here is the second one.
Q: What if my child switches to Chinese when we are practicing English?
This is what we call Translanguaging and it is something that I encourage with the students.
Translanguaging is an important strategy to help language learners develop vocabulary, confidence and contextual understanding.
If your child is trying to explain something in English and they don’t have all the words, then it’s perfectly fine to continue the conversation or explanation in Chinese. If you are able to tell them the word or phrase in English after they have finished, then do so.
Q: What if my child doesn’t want to practice English over the holidays?
- Encourage them to but do not force them.
- Lead by example and show them that you don’t always have the English words that you need and it's perfectly ok to make mistakes.
- Have a basket of English books in the house that are easily accessible.
- Stay positive.
- Keep activities fun and not too long.
- Decide on what new words and phrases you want to learn together-write them down and put them up in the house.
- Play card games and board games and ask them some questions in English, e.g., how many cards do you have?
- Arrange play dates with English-speaking friends.
- Practice greetings in English when out and about.