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How can I teach English for my Kids? PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 21 March 2011 13:55

How can I teach English for my Kids?

English is considered to be the dominant language of our modern world (lingua franca). Itís in the top 10 most widely spoken languages of the world, and the most important as a second language. Here in Europe (including my country, Hungary), English is the most common second language children learn at school.

Iím a non-native speaker and teacher of English. Surprisingly or not, English was the third language I studied at school, and I started it quite late, when I was 16 (not to take a couple of months at the age of 13). I learned German for years before English, and some Russian too (it was obligatory to do so when I was a primary school student). But English was different. It was so easy to learn that I didnít have to study it at home, I did my homework in seconds Ė my knowledge of German might be one of the reasons for that, giving a good foundation for English.

But I felt sorry I didnít have the chance to start learning English earlier, especially when I decided to go on and study it at university. Then, after years of teaching English in a secondary school, when my daughter was born, I didnít know about bilingualism and only a little about early language learning, but somehow I felt I had to give her the opportunity to acquire English earlier and even more easily than I did. When she was 6 months old, I started to sing her English nursery songs and rhymes Ė what came after this is history . (Iíll write about it later, if youíre interested.) While reading and learning about bilingualism I met tons of misbeliefs that didnít prove to be true (my country is mostly monolingual) and got to know a lot of fascinating stories of parents teaching their children a second language.

It is amazing how little children acquire languages (two or three at the same time Ė there are cases when even more). Their brain is wired to absorb languages like a sponge Ė if they start learning early enough. It really works Ė now I can see, experience it: my daughter is 4, and though she doesnít use English as perfectly as native speaker children, she doesnít have to think about grammar and vocabulary, and whatís most important for me, itís natural for her to use it and she uses it quite often as her own choice (usually Iím the only person she can talk English to).

And now, as her brother (1.5) is starting to talk I can see the miracle happening again: he uses Hungarian and English words too. Stay tuned to learn more about his and his sisterís development, about the English songs, books, websites, films and other resources we used and use. Hopefully youíll be able to read interviews and other parentsí experiences too.



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