Teach English in Baichi Zhen - Changzhi Shi

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More and more parents have planed their kids’ education even before their kids’ births. In China, most parents require their children to learn English when they are little. Most kindergartners start to teach English as second language. Parents who are 25 years old around or above learned English when they were grade 7. Parents were the young beginners to learn English as second language. At that time, most people lacked motivation as they hadn’t usually made the choice to study and couldn’t see the benefit of learning the language. They didn’t get much training on reading or speaking. Most of parents are good at listening and writing, but are not good at reading or speaking. Children are absolute beginners whose parents doesn’t speak English at all, or false beginners who may have studied or been exposed to English previously but have not retained much language and be able to produce a few simple structures. What are parents roles in English education? No matter what type of beginners the children are, parents should get involved with their children English education. But parents should not help their children by their own studying English experience. Children need four basic skills in English: receptive skills - reading and listening, and productive skills - speaking and writing.Parents could communicate with the teachers who teach their children English and find out what parents could cooperate with teachers. Parents could encourage their children to create a practice plan at home. In reading area, parents could be helpers, prepare some English books or e-books, and read books with kids together from the basic level. Parents could give extra rewards if children finish reading certain material or tasks, or take away some rewards if children don’t stay with the tasks. For example, parents and children together read English books half an hour per day, and have some discussion about the books. That’s what I have done as a three kids’ father. In our living rooms, we have two full walls of books. In the bottom three levels shelves, the books are my children’s, and in the top three levels shelves, the books are my wife’s and mine. We read books everyday together. They like reading books before bedtime. It is not only good for my kids reading, but also we have quality time together. Listening is important. Parents could be players with children and play some children English musics at home. Parents could set up a family night every week and watch English movies together. My wife and I download some English music in our phones which we could play to our kids. My children love “head - shoulder - knee and toes”. Once we play the song, they will dance with hands and feet. We have movie night at every Friday night. The kids get chance to choose the movie. We all enjoy the time together. Speaking is necessary at home. Parents could be partners. Most parents’ native language is Chinese and speak Putong Hua at home. Kids don’t have English speaking environment. That is the common problem most parents have. What could parents do? Parents could take English class for specific purposes which could create an English language environment for their children. Parents could try their best to speak English in daily life. And parents could communicate with their children’s teachers more conveniently. Parents could hold activities with native English speaker or take children to English spoken stores. I am an English teacher and speak English with my kids. My wife also could speak English. But in our home, we use Putong Hua most and practice English 2 hours per day. Writing could be very easy if children love to write diary. Parents could be coaches. It could be free writing about what they have done in the whole day. Parents could encourage children writing a dairy and don’t correct the mistakes at the beginning. After children love to write their English dairy in their own style, parents are the coaches to coach them how to write better. My oldest daughter is only 4 years old. She loves to draw and write. I give her a book to write anything she wants. Most the time, she draws and write some “words”. I think parents role in English education are helpers in reading, players in listening, partners in speaking, and coach in writing.