Like it or not, English is the de facto language of the world we live in right now. If you don’t know English, you are automatically ineligible to work in most countries. And if you know English (not just any English: idiomatic, standard English) well, it’s a free passport to wealth and riches. English is an absolute must. If your children don’t know English, they will not go anywhere or become anything. They will be relegated to the country that speaks their mother tongue. And that could be a prison of low currency conversion rates and poor job opportunities. So, if you understand this, you will readily do anything to help your kids learn English and learn it well. But what is the best way to go about it?
Methods to Learn English Effectively
Most apps and books have issues with imparting effective English communication. The problem is that even if one knows English words, you end up forming sentences that adhere to the grammar of your mother tongue. This results in crazy accents and very funny English. You don’t want your kids to do that. So, what is the best way?
1. Learn English from the Media
Well, the simplest way to learn English would be to watch English language programs of your choice on TV or the Internet. You want to make sure its real English that is high quality. If you accept any English program you could end up with some local shows. It’s best to watch content from Hollywood or the USA, since that is the most commonly spoken variant of English. You can watch Marvel superhero films like Avengers: Infinity War or Justice League or even Thor 3: Ragnarok. As common TV channels indicate, there is no shortage of English content. Make sure that the English spoken is as fluent and as eloquent as possible. But if you talk about learning English, there is one obvious choice among TV programs that is by far the best.
2. Mind Your Language
Mind Your Language is a comedy show from the UK (England) that is about foreigners learning English. It is hilariously funny while being hugely instructive (in English, not common morality). You learn grammar, parts of speech, and pristine English from the main protagonist, Mr. Brown, an English teacher who teaches spoken English. While the show might leave you in fits of laughter if you know English well, those who are from countries where the native language is not English will appreciate the wide range of dialects available in Mind Your Language. Nearly every major country in the world has a representative. It’s hilariously funny which being educational and beneficial to attaining fluency in the English language. You need to speak like a native speaker, i.e., an American or a Brit.
3. English Learning Apps
English learning apps exist and are hugely popular. Some of them are effective and cause a visible improvement in your language in a matter of days. They are free and effective and they have been shown to work very well. While it may not be the same level of training as Mind Your Language or The Sound of Music (movie), some of them work, and they work remarkably well. Here are a few choices of an English learning app that are remarkable on features and give huge benefits to learners:
- Duolingo: This is English learning made into a game. Excellent for kids. Spending a mere twenty minutes a day, one learns fluent English while playing a game on your cell phone. This is a remarkable app and one of the most creative uses of technology when it comes to learning languages.
- Memrise: This app builds your children’s vocabulary. Using the technique of spaced periodic recall, this app expands your children’s vocabulary by leaps and bounds. It is one of the most popular apps on both Android and the iPhone. Highly recommended.
- Busuu: Also known as Learn Languages Busuu, this is a very effective app since it has facilities to speak with native users of English in common conversation. One drawback of Mind Your Language is the age of this TV show – over twenty years old. This app addresses the problem of speaking English that is used currently beautifully.
- Babbel: Also known as Learn English with Babbel, this app offers four learning modes that enables the user to learn conversational English. All these apps given here are excellent preparation for the TOEFL and IELTS, and Babbel is no exception.
- Rosetta Stone: This is a tried and tested method to learning spoken and grammatical English. Not only is the approach used classic and well-organized, it even has enhanced speech recognition so that non-English speakers can improve their spoken English no matter which country they come from (thus dealing with accents effectively).
4. Read, Read, Read
Read with your children. Read to them when they are small. Read to them, cuddling them before bedtime. Read with them when they are big. Use a DEAR strategy. DEAR stands for Drop Everything And Read. At a certain time everyday, the whole family stops doing everything else, picks up a book and reads. Beautiful, isn’t it? And there are millions of books out there that are good for children, of whatever age they are.
5. Speak English
People in non-English speaking countries often do not have fluent English speaking skills, simply because, well, they don’t speak English. It is a shame that even in university classes, sometimes, English is taught in the mother tongue! This is not a joke. Therefore, if you want your child to learn English, enrol him or her in a place where you are sure that they will use English to speak and to write. Usually this means private schools, but do not fear. There are good public schools too, that do encourage English speaking.
Happy reading, listening to and speaking English!