How Can You Help at Home
We shared some strategies with parents on Friday. These strategies included having interesting books and dvds in English available at home, having a dual language dictionary available as well as encouraging older children to make up their own personalised dual dictionaries. Taking part in play and physical/ sporting activities with other English speakers also speeds the learning process. There are also some fantastic internet sites– some of which provide read-along books and fun vocabulary activities.
Linked closely to this is a question we’re often asked (and another statistic). How long does it take to learn English? Well, a study of 700,000 language learners over a 14 year period (Thomas & Collier) came up with the following findings. Students between 8 to 11 years old with some previous schooling in their mother tongue took 5-7 years to reach the same level in academic English as native speakers. Students with little or no schooling in their mother tongue before the age of 8 took 7-10 years.
This shows how important it is that students continue to speak and learn in their mother tongue at home and out of school. It makes a big and positive impact on their abilities to learn English at school. Reading, watching television programs and speaking in your home language really helps children to improve their English.
Finally, be patient with anyone learning English, it takes time to learn any language. But don’t be discouraged, since (final statistic) more people speak English in China than in the USA!
To read more stories about Shekou International School visit their website: www.sis.org.cn/why-choose-sis