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Children usually learn to speak their own language with a lot of support from their parents. Children are used to copying what their parents say. So with English too, no matter what your own level is, you can help!

This is a sheet of helpful language (PDF, 200KB) from the video. Use it to help you do the activities with your child.

Children may lack confidence in speaking English – seeing their parents using English in various situations around the home may help them feel more comfortable speaking English. And of course it is good for children to see English being used in a place other than school.

Make a note of what they are studying

On this website, or in your child's coursebook, you can find the language that your child will be practising at school through their Oxford coursebook. You can make a note of the language focus for each term and use this to try and focus any English activities around that.

Having "Time for English"

Children need a reason to communicate in English. If both parent and child can communicate more effectively in your mother tongue, children will be less motivated to join in. Allocating "Time for English" for a focussed period of time in a day helps (ten minutes, perhaps?) – and preparing the children in advance helps too. "We have Time for English in five minutes time."

For young children, having a toy that you pretend speaks only in English is a good way to make English fun and meaningful. Your English time could be Time with Harry perhaps. As you do your activities, Harry could say simple phrases: Very good! What's that in English? etc.

Doing everyday things

Look at, and listen to, the phrases in the language bank (PDF, 90KB).
You can repeat these phrases while you do everyday things, like laying the table, going shopping, putting things away. Repeat these phrases more often than you would naturally.
Let's put the plates here.
That looks nice!
OK. Three yogurts.
This goes here.

Getting the children to respond

The next step is to try to use phrases for children to act on and respond to in English. So during these everyday events, ask children to help or ask them about their opinions.
Where is your book?
Can you put the spoons on the table?
Which is your favourite?