Learning English is one of the necessities for surviving in the globalized world as even a single discussion, speech, letter or email everything is in the English language. The children whose mother tongue is English don’t need the parental support that much to start learning English than that of the children who are from the foreign languages. The children whose mother tongue is some foreign language could find great difficulty to get introduced to the English. The main problem which the teachers even feel when they are about to start the first class of English is the elimination of barriers to communication, or the flow of information continued among the children. It is highly required that the parents should contribute equally in keeping the children engaged with the new language (English) so that they would be ready for the next coming lesson prepared by the teacher as well as they could be able to keep their memory strong about the previous lecture. These all things can only be done by the parents. The main aim of the paper is to discuss if the parental support is more effective in the native language of the children while learning English or in the direct English language.
When a child with the background of English language enrolls in the language class, he finds no difficulty in learning the English and its basics, pronunciation and vocabulary issue because he lived in the environment where the English is being practiced by his parents, family, elder siblings, relatives and other people with whom he is interacting. These children are deemed to be outstanding in the class, and they always lead only because of the strong English language background. These children don’t need extra support and concentration of the adults in getting on the track of learning English as they already know the meaning of most of the words and the basic sentence structure. They also have fluency and are even interacting and making conversations in English which keeps them always on the right track of learning (Barac & Bialystok, 2012).
The real problem comes for the foreign language learners. The students and children whose native language is not English, they didn’t find any experience of proper interaction with the language or the usage of it in the necessary routine (Barac & Bialystok, 2012). The main problems which they face are the higher levels of anxiety while pronouncing the words in the English language classes. People from all over the world are trying to learn English and they have intentions to learn the language on their own but the children don’t know the real benefit of what they are doing and at any difficult stage, they may step back. The teachers could not be counted as the only individual who is responsible for the children to make them learn English. The parents have an important role as well in helping them learn the language.
The children from the background of other languages and are enrolled in learning the language needs complete support from school, teachers, parents, and community. The teachers obviously play the basic role in introducing the lessons, but the enhancement part is done by the parents (Leidy, Guerra & Toro, 2010). After school, all of the time of the children is spent with the parents and they could be supportive in engaging them with the homework and the literature provided by the teachers. There are many ways which the parents can use for the enhancement of the speaking skills, generating fluency and elaborating the structures of the sentences. The teacher mostly provides heavy literature which seems to be boring to the children, but with the help of their parents they find the interest and learns quickly. The children are not mature enough to understand the language, new vocabulary and sentence structures on the first sight but the parents can help them by making children to practice the words and their meanings (Chaffin et al., 2009). It will help the children to at least get adjusted to the new language’s environment, and they will always be prepared for new words and vocabulary.
Most of the parents wish their children to learn the English language at early ages, many of them are of the view that getting their kids learn English as early as at the age of two to three which could help children to live in a better way in the globalized era of the current world. The first and foremost crucial factor in encouraging the English language learning for the kids is their parent’s involvement and interest in their learning process. The initial learning of kids starts from home and parents can facilitate their English language learning by using many tools and techniques (Havighurst et al., 2010). The best that parents can do to facilitate English language learning of their kids is to learn the language themselves. If the parents are the native speaker of English, it is going to be an advantage for the kids to be native speakers of English language. The actual problem occurs when children are to learn the English language as a foreign or secondary language.
While having a holiday, it is necessary to have a good connection with the new language the young children are engaged with, and if they don’t find any chance to practice, the anxiety of losing the taste and flow seems to be evading (Havighurst et al., 2010). Parents are helpful in removing that anxiety. Such anxiety is often supplemented with the bad experiences memories of learning a second language in schools which can cause a bad impact on your children. There are different studies which evaluated the parent’s role in English learning. A study conducted by British Council in the UK, forty percent out of 2000 adults, reported that they get nervous while speaking a foreign language and can provide their kids a “go” which is counted in the worst acts, besides committing mistakes in speaking is far better than getting a sentence prepared perfectly to utter (Paradis, 2011).
Kids have a natural tendency to learn things without the intervention of adults through playful games and without any proper caring of the mistakes that they make along the learning process. To get the children learn the English language faster, the parents may use the English language while playing with their kids at home and while being on vacations (Cheung & Pomerantz, 2011). This way they can learn the secondary language the same way they learned their primary language. It helps to develop beautiful English learning memory for kids to remember when they become adults and can provide the assistance to their children as well. Normally people remember and can re-utter the phrases which they learned in storytelling time. Even though reading English storybooks to children at bedtime is also an effective technique that parents may adopt to make the process of English learning of kids faster and effective.
Very young kids normally do not question the language the stories are read to them in, the only thing amazing them is the ritual of listening to stories at bedtime. This way they learn the language in the unintentional natural flow (Cheung & Pomerantz, 2011). They never read those books but still remember the phrases out of those stories in a cherished way. Bedtime storytelling provides a very powerful tool to instill secondary language in kids’ memories. The stories with visual illustrations even enhance the learning process of the respective language, audiobooks can also be used to improve the listening skills and learning, and this may be more useful for parents if they lack the confidence of reading out the stories aloud to kids (Rogers et al., 2009). Learning a language typically is considered a process is happening in the classrooms with textbooks and supporting classroom material, memorizing the verbs and parts of speech. However, the process for the kids should start with getting them exposed to the language through untraditional tools and methods, such as watching cartoons in the English language is found to be very useful in learning English. As the kids repeat the dialogues of their favorite cartoon characters and try using those phrases where they find it to be relevant to the situation in reality.
In the early ages of the children when they are exposed to the language, the main aim is to introduce them to the rhythms, pronunciations and the calculations of mouth movements for speaking a specific word. In the schools, the teacher has not enough time to help every child to speak the best as expected and there is also no possibility to stop the lecture or the learning period for a single or a couple of students (Rogers et al., 2009). The parents are the only source which could be used for the growth of the language skills in the children. Many ways could be used by the parents to enhance the children’s speaking and listening skills of the English language. For the natives, the English are the necessity, but for the families where English is the secondary language, the contribution of the parents is highly appreciated and will be beneficial for the children as well (Kubota & McKay, 2009).
Some of the most important tips by the Chinese multilingual learning guidelines are taken which could elaborate ways through which the parents, as well as the guardians and caretakers, can perform an important role in helping the children for improving their English skills.
One of the best technique being used by the multilingual learning guides is of not getting afraid of using the native language as a helper for learning the English language. Since the child well knows the native language and he has plenty of vocabulary in it. The unfamiliar words and phrases could be explained by proper help taken from the native language. The parents can help the children to learn English by relating the words with the native language so that they would be able to remember the meanings as well (Clarke, 2009). This technique will help the parents to correlate the English language and culture with the native language and the culture respectively, and the establishment of the connection between the two languages will remove the complexities in learning the English and academic literacies.
Another most important and very effective technique which the parents can use and is highlighted in many learning forums is the maintaining of the routine of doing the homework on a daily basis. It is highly requested not to miss a single homework as it will break the flow which is very precisely being maintained by the teacher for the student so that he could be able to learn the language properly and adequately. The parents help necessary for developing the interest of the children for making the routine of studying daily. Parents are supposed to provide the environment of the necessary source and to remove the necessary disturbances and to minimize the distractions.
It is also advised to the parents to help the children learn the English language in a better way. One of the known way is described as to study the same thing and same pattern of words in a number of new ways (Kubota & McKay, 2009). The best ways include the folktale or any tiny children’s story book in which both the child and the parent are familiar and know the story in the native way. It is known that a young child would not be able to remember a number of phrases or will not be able to understand the words in the first flow so it is required to repeat the story in front of the children by explaining the plot in different ways which will help in strengthening the concept of the book. Language games could also be very good example of understanding the English language in some better ways.
The parents would be requested to involve the children in the extracurricular activities for example in the participation of the school’s yearly book or in speeches and dialogues which could be prepared under the parents influence (Clarke, 2009). These activities helps the children in developing the language and the literacies which would be helping the strengthening the language skills in the child. The extracurricular activities help the children to manage their won selves including the communication, leadership, perspectives, roles and responsibilities and many other skills. The use of the language inside the school is done by the teachers and the rest of the part is supposed to be completed by the parental support only as the teacher is not able to give the possible time for these things and hardly completes its lecture and other basic things that are needed for a child to cover the syllabus.
The parents are requested to always get in touch with the teachers so that they would know the progress level of their child in learning the language and maintaining his academics as well as social progress inside the school (Parkay, Stanford & Gougeon, 2010). The coordination as well as the partnership between the home and the school will help the child to get success in his ways of learning the new things which are necessary for securing his successful future. It is known that if the parent-teacher’s interaction would be completely ended than there would be no check and balance of the students neither from school side and nor from the teacher’s side (Barac & Bialystok, 2012). Millions of children gets enrolled in the learning of the English language which is necessary so that they would find diversity in their career. They would be able to improve their academics as it is known that most of education being delivered in the whole world is completely English based.
In a nutshell, it can be explained that the parents play an important role in the learning of English language among the early age adolescents as well as children who are spending most of their time with their parents. The problem in learning the English comes to the non-English children who have very less or no interaction with the english language at all and they find the learning of english to be one of the most difficult task because of the lack of supports and practice. The parental support is required highly and the parents/guardians are highly required to help their children in learning the English and if they don’t know the English as a language than at least create and maintain the learning environment. It would help them to keep engaged with the English language properly and precisely. At the end it can finalized that the english language is necessary and without it the survival is impossible for a human who is living in a globalized village and the parents must engaged their children in learning english at very early stages.
Barac, R., & Bialystok, E. (2012). Bilingual effects on cognitive and linguistic development: Role of language, cultural background, and education. Child development, 83(2), 413-422.
Chaffin, M., Valle, L. A., Funderburk, B., Gurwitch, R., Silovsky, J., Bard, D., … & Kees, M. (2009). A motivational intervention can improve retention in PCIT for low-motivation child welfare clients. Child maltreatment, 14(4), 356-368.
Cheung, C. S. S., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2011). Parents’ involvement in children’s learning in the United States and China: Implications for children’s academic and emotional adjustment. Child development, 82(3), 932-950.
Clarke, P. M. (2009). Supporting children learning English as a second language in the early years (birth to six years). VCAA.
Havighurst, S. S., Wilson, K. R., Harley, A. E., Prior, M. R., & Kehoe, C. (2010). Tuning in to Kids: improving emotion socialization practices in parents of preschool children–findings from a community trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51(12), 1342-1350.
Kubota, R., & McKay, S. (2009). Globalization and language learning in rural Japan: The role of English in the local linguistic ecology. Tesol Quarterly, 43(4), 593-619.
Leidy, M. S., Guerra, N. G., & Toro, R. I. (2010). Positive parenting, family cohesion, and child social competence among immigrant Latino families. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(3), 252.