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10 Tips to Support Your Child's English Language Skills

The aim of EAL is to build English confidence, fluency and accuracy so that our students can fully and independently access their learning, both in and out of the classroom.

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This week the EAL teachers led a coffee morning for our parents focusing on a range of areas:

  • The EAL learning journey
  • What we do in EAL
  • The importance of the home language
  • How you can help at home

We explained how EAL is organised, and gave parents a taste of an EAL lesson first hand by involving them in some typical EAL activities. We also emphasised the importance of speaking your home language together, and shared some tips for helping your child at home.

Today we offer you 10 top tips from our presentation on how you can support your child's learning at home. These will be useful for many parents, not just those with children currently receiving EAL support:

  • Using your home language is very important. Ask your child about their school day, encourage them to talk about their lessons and what they did at lunch time using your home language. Encourage your child to speak, listen, read and write in their home language. Do not feel pressured to use English at home, especially if you are not a confident English speaker, as your child has plenty of opportunities to use English at school.
  • Homework support is very helpful. Here are some useful steps: 1. Read the task in English. 2. Talk about the instructions in your home language. 3. Discuss the task and any new vocabulary in your home language. 4. Ask your child to complete the assignment in English. Switching between languages is good for the brain and shows an understanding of the concepts!
  • Reading is significant for language development and wider literacy skills.
  • Ensure you have a daily reading routine. Children need something to look forward to each evening, and it should be the enjoyment of reading with you. 
  • As you read together, ask your child questions about the story (What has happened? What will happen next? Which characters do you like, and why?)
  • Make sure you have plenty of first language books, magazines etc. around the house.
  • Invite your child to write a book review after finishing. They can include: title, characters, beginning, middle, end, new vocabulary, what they liked / didn’t like about the story or characters.
  • Play dates with other children can help develop your child’s social English, especially if their playmate is of a different nationality. Speak to other parents, and organise play dates regularly.
  • After-school clubs are a great way to develop their English in an authentic environment.
  • Shared activities at home like cooking, games, songs and movies will help to develop your child’s language and social skills.

If you were unable to attend the coffee morning or would like to view the presentation again, you can do so by clicking on the link below:

EAL Coffee Morning Presentation

Finally, don’t forget to visit our EAL blogs for TX and An Phu campuses, where there are plenty of activities and ideas for children and parents: http://txeal.blogspot.com  /  http://bisap1eal.blogspot.com

Chris Rolls, EAL Leader

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