English as a second language is an important part of language learning for many people around the world. Immersion is one of the biggest ways we accomplish language learning. This method of learning mimics our language learning as a baby and helps our brain to adjust to using this new skill. If your child is learning English as their second (or even as their third) language, be sure to start with the basics.
Each letter in English has its own unique way of being pronounced, so start there! Have your child play with sounds such as “ooh” or “eee”. Gradually build up sounds into syllables, like “buh-ooh”. Mimicking sounds is a fun way to engage with your child and encourage them to explore what they can do. From this point, children will start to be able to mimic words or phrases. You might notice your child copying what you say to them! You should confirm what words were said and give positive affirmations. For example, if you say, “We’re going home”, your child might say “home?”. Confirm with, “Yes, home! We’re going home; good job!”
Learning English as a second language doesn’t need to be a scary or daunting process, it can be an activity the whole family can do. Building a positive relationship with language learning as a family is a good way to keep your child’s interest in learning. Check your local community centers or library for classes the whole family can enjoy. And most importantly, have fun learning!