Teachers Speak: Top Tips for Improving Your Child’s English-Language Skills
English tops the list of most-spoken languages around the world if you calculate the rate it’s used among both native and non-native speakers. For this reason, Harrods International Academy, a top English international school in Cambodia, introduces English-language learning from a young age. When students graduate from secondary school after attending Harrods International Academy, they have a keen understanding of the English language and the ability to speak, read and write it fluently. This gives them an edge in today’s competitive marketplace and makes it possible for them to pursue careers around the globe.
It’s our goal at Harrods to give our students the tools they need to succeed after graduation and we believe mastery over the English language is what every student must have at the ready.
English Language Learning at Harrods International Academy
We introduce the English language in our Early Years school through a combination of Cambridge and Montessori methods. This instruction continues throughout your child’s academic career. As students transition through grade levels and curricula, English remains a constant. In the twenty-first century, this is simply a staple of quality education in Cambodia. However, though our educators, staff and administration are dedicated to helping your child master the intricacies of English, the work must continue at home. This is especially vital for our youngest students who are being introduced to English for the very first time.
Helping Your Student Learn English at Home
As a parent, there’s much you can do after school to reinforce your child’s English language skills. The teachers from our international primary school have put together this helpful guide to use as an at-home teaching aid. It focuses on fun and engaging activities that reinforce the concepts they’ve learned in the classroom. Its overall goal is to make language learning an exciting activity that both you and your child can enjoy.
1. Use Games to Teach English
Any time spent as a family gathered around a table is a positive experience. However, when you use that time to play board games, everyone’s English skills will soar. While any game will help, some are better than others at teaching reading, speaking and grammar skills. Some of the games we suggest include spelling games, such as Scrabble, Boggle, Upwords, Bananagrams and Quiddler. Party games such as Pictionary, Blurt and Scattergories are ideal as well.
Other ideas include Mad Libs, Catan, Azul and Ticket to Ride, as well as the old rusty-trusty standards like Monopoly, Candyland, Hi Ho Cherrio and Chutes and Ladders. Games that require players to spell, write, guess or strategies are all ideal for furthering English language skills, as long as the gameplay takes place in English.
2. Speak English at Home as Much as Possible
There’s nothing like total immersion to help you learn a language. For this reason, speak English at home as much as possible and encourage school-age children to do the same. In this way, you’ll not only learn together, but you’ll pick up on some of the more complex nuances of conversational English.
If speaking English all the time isn’t feasible, try setting aside small portions of the day for family members to converse only in English. Examples might be at dinner time, over breakfast or while children prepare for bed at night.
3. Spend Time with English-Speaking Friends
If your family has English-speaking friends, set up frequent playdates or have the whole family over as often as possible. Take outings together, go to dinner or see a movie with all the kids. Make time for the children to hang out together, such as during supervised sleepovers and encourage them to share items such as comic books and video games.
4. Read to Your Child in English Every Night
Reading to your children every night is an excellent way to help them with their English language skills and prime bonding time. Storytime provides an opportunity for children to wind down and tell you about their day. It’s an activity that’s perfect for bedtime because it allows everyone who participates to relax, take a deep breath and de-stress. If you’re reading your favourite children’s books, such as those written by Dr Suess, Beverly Cleary, or A.A. Milne, you’re also giving your child an early experience with classic literature that will benefit them later in life.
5. Turn On English Subtitles When Watching Television
If your family watches television together, turn on the English subtitles. This will be especially helpful when watching old favourites that you know by heart. Seeing the words in English appearing across the screen will help visual learners better remember them. If they learn to associate the words they’re seeing with cartoons and shows they’ve watched over and over, certain words are bound to stick more than others.
Why Choose English Schools in Cambodia?
Many of the top international schools in Cambodia place a strong emphasis on English and for a good reason: It’s a skill that future-ready students will need in order to be successful in school and beyond. Most private schools in Phnom Penh place high regard on English as a second language and Harrods International Academy is no exception. We’re a Cambridge school that’s part of the revered Global Schools Foundation. This makes us responsible for achieving high standards in regard to curricula, educators, staff and administration. We pass those high expectations along to our students in all things, most especially their English-language skills.
If you’re looking for British Schools in Phnom Penh, we invite you to explore the exciting and dynamic offerings at Harrods International Academy. Our dedication to our students and families is a large part of what sets us apart from other international schools in Phnom Penh. We’re happy to meet with you to discuss enrolment. Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable admission advisors to schedule a consultation or tour today.