Ever since English became the global lingua franca or the most common language used around the world, everyone wants to be able to master it as a personal and professional skill to have.
Although major schools in Malaysia have included English in their curriculums, it requires some additional efforts to sharpen a child’s ability to communicate and write well in English – even more, like a native speaker. Here are some ways you can try to supercharge your child’s English speaking and writing techniques:
Start learning as early as possible
We cannot tell how long it will take for a person to sound and write like a native speaker. While it would depend on the individuals, we can actually speed up the process by making sure a child learns English when he or she is in school. Attend an English school, if possible, or enroll your child in an intensive course program which would take years to complete. By the time he or she finishes with school, his or her English course will be completed as well.
Interact with native speakers
The most common mistake made by Malaysian students when it comes to learning English is not practicing it often enough. For beginners, it is very important to focus on pronunciation and hearing. If your child is only hanging out with other Malaysian students and speaking the local language, he or she will never be confident enough to talk to native speakers. Someone who spends four years abroad could still come back with a thick Malaysian accent because he or she never really tries to assimilate with foreign students.
Choosing a native speaker from an Anglo-Saxon country to be your child’s teacher would be a good start to “force” the kid to communicate only in English. If you are not a good English speaker, it would be a bad idea to try teaching the language yourself. However, if you have foreigner friends, you can invite their children to have regular play dates with your child. That way, your little ones will be more comfortable and confident in using English as their second language.
Take multiple tests
Taking an English comprehension test is not merely to obtain the score but also to realize one’s strength and weakness. A lot of times, people could over-estimate themselves and become too lazy to learn because they do not think they need it badly. Whether it is a paper-based or computer-based TOEFL, IELTS, or other kinds, it does not really matter in the beginning. The more important thing is for your child to enjoy and learn from the journey.
Travel to Anglo-Saxon countries
Sometimes, we cannot measure our English competency level until we know how well the English-speaking people understand our choice of words and how well we can respond to them. By sending your child to an international summer camp in Australia, for example, he or she will not be able to use a mixed language anymore because no one would understand it at all. Other than that, your child would also learn to match the rhythm, intonation, and word linking of a native speaker.
Practice and familiarity would be two important aspects to improve one’s language comprehension. You can implement these tips, but it would entirely depend on your children to absorb the lessons and put them to good use.