“ I wish she spoke English…”
I would suspect a lot of parents would have that kind of thoughts,
especially if you’re in an international marriage,
and your first language isn’t English.
Any mom can make their kids bilingual!
I had an experience teaching Kid’s English for 2 years,
and also I am growing my kids to be bilingual speakers,
so I would like to share my little points of ‘ How do I grow my kids to like English’.
I’ve got 3 points to share! YAY!
Find an ‘English-speaking environment’
My husband is an Aussie and he makes time for our kids to have English time every morning.
He’s very thoughtful, and he makes time for them even though he is a very busy man.
You might say, ‘ What if I’m not an English speaker?’
It’s also useful to sign up for English schools and use English text books,
but it’s also effective to put your kids into an international environment!
The point is: Make sure your kids have access to an ‘English-speaking environment’
It’s very important for the kids to understand that English is not a language just used in the classrooms.
So, for you kids future, find an environment that you can use English!
Our church is perfect for an international environment!
Every Sunday, our church has ‘Lifehouse Kids’ and we are always doing it in English and Japanese.
We also have free Kid’s English classes and we also have Language Exchange for adults too!
Kid’s and also adults can speak in English and very open in this environment.
You will make a lot of international friends here!
My daughter goes to a Japanese pre-school, and her main language is Japanese.
But when she goes to church and plays with her friends, she will use English to her English speaking friends!
There’re a lot of friendly international people, so, as parents you can show your kids that you too are working hard to speak English! It’s a great chance to grow with you kids!
Make them feel confident that they can speak English!
There was a Japanese girl who saw the movie “Frozen”, and she learnt how to sing ‘Let it go’.
But her mom was telling this to her.
‘ Your pronunciation is not good’
‘ You don’t even understand the lyrics…
I tried explaining this to her but she wouldn’t listen to me’
The mom was paying attention to all these small things.
But I guess if they’re able to sing freely and enjoying it, that’s the best, right?
The important thing about learning English is to get use to the sound and the rhythm of English and imitating that.
The pronunciation and other stuff comes after!
A lot of Japanese kids tends to listen to songs and remember by ear, and eventually they’ll know the meaning of the word.
So when your kids are singing English songs, don’t tell them to fix little grammars and pronunciations!
Instead, tell them,
‘ You are singing so well! You are speaking English so good!’
Tell them how well they are doing it, and make sure they will get confidence from that!
At Lifehouse Kids, some songs are sang in English.
Even though the lyrics are in English, all our Japanese kids are singing it in English and they are having a lot of fun!
I’m looking forward to seeing my kids understanding the true meaning of the songs!
Ask them in English!
When I was teaching English, after the lessons, the mom will ask in her own language,
‘ What did you learn today? How do you say this in English?’
Even though the mom asks in a language that they should understand, I’ve seen a lot of occasions where the the kids couldn’t answer them.
Why is that?
When that happens, I would encourage to their parents
‘ If mommy asks in English too, probably the kids would also answer in English’
Especially for kids, they would not think in both languages and they can’t switch that quick to speak in both languages.
When you have conversations in English, they would naturally learn words and phrases in English.
So, when you don’t see your kid’s improving in English,
don’t rush them to learn quick it or worry about it so much!
So if your kids don’t speak English, don’t stress!
Let’s treat them with love and see our kids enjoying English from their bottom of their hearts!
Grow them to their fullest potential and grow our generation to ‘world-changers’!