- When reading picture books which contain English expressions, we pronounce English words of things in the pictures. We encourage the child to repeat the words.
- When drawing we pronounce the English word for the thing which the child draws.
- We frequently listen to and repeat short English songs so that the child slowly learns the text.
- When we learn about a certain theme from the curriculum, we teach children some expressions also in English.
- During daily activities we repeat the already known English expressions for animals that we meet when going for a walk, words for food etc.
- Children learn by playing. During English hours we repeat the words and phrases and learn new words by different plays and didactic materials.
Children are born with abilities to learn their native and foreign languages. When they are very small they have a lot of time and are ready to accept learning of foreign languages. Learning in this time is fun because it is performed during the children play. Just as in Slovenian the children first listen to the foreign words, then start speaking and after a certain period form sentences. Small children do not bother about grammar but use expressions which they hear. They forget some words and sentences and remember others.
If we teach children in the right way they are not embarassed when learning foreign languages. Parents can help their children if:
- they do not say that English is difficult
- they do not force them to understand grammar
- jih pri učenju tujega jezika zapletejo v zanimivo igro,/try to involve children in a pleasant play when learning English
- they understand that children at the beginning just listen to, then understand and after that read and write (therefore they should not force children to speak or repeat words)
- they are patient and aware that the child at first does not understand everything that he/she hears but only some words which he connects with the happening and then makes approximate conclusion about the meaning
- they understand that children are a bit disturbed by the fact that they cannot quickly express a thought in a foreign language
- they do not correct the mistakes (the children will soon recognize the mistakes themselves and correct them)
- they are aware that there are differences between boys and girls and do not compare them.
Parents can help their children learn foreign languages even if they are not English teachers and even if they think that their knowledge and pronunciation of English is poor. If you try to teach your children English, you do not need any special course but basic knowledge and some expressions and sentences. You should not try to teach them longer than 10 to 20 minutes, once to three times a week. It is important to repeat words but it is not necessary that your child understands grammar.
When teaching your children English it is very important that you do not laugh at them if they pronounce a word in the wrong way. Never say that they do not have talent for languages. Encourage them if they cannot remember words immediately (this is quite normal). Do not compare them with other children by saying that their friends speak English excellently.