Some children find it hard to speak English. Some are shy. Some don’t want to make mistakes. To help encourage your child to speak English you can help your child feel more confident by creating a positive and encouraging atmosphere at home. Don’t pressure them or show disappointment if your child is not ready to speak English yet.
Here are some tips for developing your child’s confidence:
Don’t pressure your child to give longer answers.
Look relaxed so your child knows you’re happy with what they say no matter how short.
Don’t interrupt when your child is speaking.
Correct your child after they are done speaking. Don’t stop your child when they’re speaking.
Give them opportunities to use vocabulary and phrases that they already know well.
Check they understand questions and instructions. Use your first language to clarify if necessary.
Keep speaking activities fun and not too long.
Above all, don’t make a big thing out of your child’s silence. Help, encourage, and always be positive. Talk about it and reassure them: you are there to help them become more confident. Encourage funny, light-hearted, and unpredictable answers. Say words in different ways with different expressions. If the stress is not on speaking but on making funny faces, children are often happy to repeat the language over and over again.
Many children are more motivated to learn English if they like English-speaking music, films, cartoons, or books. Many young children learn languages more easily when the learning is subtly combined with creative activities. Think about what your child likes doing for fun and try doing these activities in English, such as singing, playing games, and reading books aloud.