The Cambridge English Parents’ Newsletter is a great resource if you are helping your child to learn English. I would recommend any parents of EAL students to sign up for these to receive regular news and activities to help your child.
Dr Herbert Puchta talks about the importance of children using their imagination when they read and of having a comfortable atmosphere to read in:
“Distraction can come from the environment – you need to help your child create a comfortable atmosphere for reading. But readers can also get distracted by the text itself, especially if it has too many difficult words. Help your child choose books that are interesting and challenging, but not too difficult.”
He also highlights the value encouraging your child to be more interested in and engaged with what they’re reading:
“If your child is really interested in what they are reading, they may well be motivated to read more. They may also be more focussed on what they are reading. Try to help your child to be interested in the things they read, before they start reading and while they read. A good way to do this is to ask your child to predict what they are going to read. Good readers constantly make connections between what they already know and what they find in the text.
So before your child starts reading a book, look together at the cover, the title and the pictures and ask your child, (maybe in their language) 'What do you think you're going to read about?' And at the end of a chapter or section, ask questions like ‘What do you think is going to happen next?’ or (if it's a non-fiction book) ‘What might the next bit be about?’”
Taking time to help your child enjoy reading in English is definitely worthwhile. If you have any questions or need any further help or advice, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- James Carson, Head of English as an Additional Language