How To Use English at Home – Part 4 Bilingual

How To Use English at Home – Part 4 Bilingual

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The best way to help your child learn a foreign language is to bring that language into the home and into your lives as a family. Many parents and children feel like they can’t possibly squeeze in any more school time. No problem! You’d be surprised at how much English you can practice if you just use it here and there as you go about your daily life. Any moment can be an opportunity to learn and practice English.

Out & About (and at Home) with English

Learning can happen ANYWHERE, and there are a multitude of reasons to use English in every setting possible. Let’s take a look at just a few examples of places you can use English with your child in your daily life:

● Shopping:

Shopping can be a real drag for kids and parents. Why not make it more fun by using as much English as you can? Use easy phrases like, “I need a(n)some __” and requests like, Would you bring me a(s)some __?” Grocery shopping is faster and more fun when you have a helper who is excited to help you collect items. Shopping is great for practicing numbers, foods, household items, questions, and counting grammar (how much/many, etc.).

● Commuting and Waiting in Lines:

Your time on the metro, in the car, or on your bike is perfect for using English. Talk about your transportation, such as the parts of the car, bike, or metro. Talk about what you see. Talk about where you are. Talk about where you’re going next. Are we going left or right? Stop! Go! Fast! Slow! the possibilities are endless!

For more advanced learners, in the afternoons and evenings, ask them what they learned at school. Play a game like “I Spy,” “20 Questions,” or “What’s that?” (See parts 1 and 2 of this series).

● At the Bank:

Banks are great places to talk about money and numbers, of course. They’re also great for talking about jobs, objects, furniture, and more.

● At Home:

Cooking and mealtimes: Talk about what you’re eating. What does it taste like? Is it hot or cold? Do you like it? “I’d like some more, please. Do we have any…? Please pass the…. It needs more salt. I’m full! I’m still hungry.”

Morning routines:What better way to start the day than with a little foreign language?

“Good morning! Time to wake up. Do I have to? Yes, of course. What should I wear? How about this? What’s for breakfast? Did you brush your teeth? Don’t forget your bookbag. What time is it? Let’s go! Have a great day! I’ll carry that, Mom. Bye Grandma! See you later!”

Evening routines: What better way to end your day than with the feeling of accomplishment you get from speaking a foreign language?

“It’s time for bed. Is your homework done? Let me help you pack your backpack. I brushed my teeth and took a shower. How about you? Let me see. Oh, very clean! I’m sleepy. Are you tired? I’m not sleepy. Can I stay up? You’ll be tired in the morning. I’ll come tuck you in. Can you read me a story? Mommy, sing me a song. I love you. Sweet dreams!

Why should I use English everywhere?

In most language classrooms in schools, children don’t get to move around much while they use language. They rarely get to see, touch, or do the things they’re talking about. Most people don’t learn that well just from reading. And that’s why traditional language classrooms don’t work.

To learn a language, you have to build a connection between sounds and meaning; between patterns and meaning. To build meaning, we need more than just theoretical experience. When you’re fluent in a language, your brain doesn’t translate from one language to another – it just makes the connection to the same information in more than one way. To build those connections, you need context and sensation: colors, shapes, temperatures, movements, sounds. The variety of environments for the language ensures that they can use it wherever they go. It builds deeper connections which enhances true fluency.

These different environments also help you think of what to talk about. Any object or picture around you has the potential to spark interaction in English. You’re also encouraging them to be curious about their surroundings and more comfortable speaking English in general. There’s really no downside to using a foreign language any time in your daily life.

Wont my child feel like theyre still at school?

That depends on you. If you follow the guidelines from the first three segments of this series, it won’t be like school at all. Remember to keep things fun. This is not a test – it’s playing!

Once you start integrating English into your daily routine, you’ll be raising a bilingual speaker. It will feel normal and natural to speak English, so it won’t feel like school at all. Even school won’t feel as much like school, because English will be a normal part of life.

There are even more ways to interact with your child in English. Stay tuned for more fun ideas and answers to common questions.

Next time: Make Up Songs Together!

处处都能说英语

想要帮助孩子学习一门外语,最好的方法就是把这门外语融入到一个家庭的日常生活中。很多家长和孩子都已经每天安排得满满当当,不想再花额外的时间去学习了。无须担心!实际上,即使我们只是在生活中零碎地用英语来说说话,我们能够练习的量就已经达到令人惊讶的程度了——生活中其实时时刻都是学习和练习英语的机会。

英语可以无处不在

学习是不受时间地点限制的,英语学习更是如此。随时随地使用英语可以给你带来诸多好处。接下来我们来举例看一下生活中可以和孩子一起运用英语的一些常见场合:

· 购物:

带孩子购物对孩子和家长来说都可能是一种折磨,但如果我们把它当成说英语的挑战,这不是就变得有趣了吗?我们可以用一些简单的表达,如“I need a(n)some __”,或者请求,如Would you bring me a(s)some __?”当我们在超市采购日常用品时,如果有一个帮手积极地来帮我们跑腿,这一过程会变得更加轻松也更为有趣。此外,购物对于数字、食物、日用品单词,以及提问和数量的语法(如how much/many)都有很大的练习意义。

· 坐车和排队:

我们花在路上、地铁上、车里,甚至在自行车上的时间都能拿来练习英语。我们可以趁机练习和交通相关的词汇表达,如交通工具和各个部件。看到什么就说什么,在哪就练哪个,要去哪里就接着讲哪里。“Are we going left or right? Stop! Go! Fast! Slow! ”各种词汇和句子会给我们的练习带来无限的可能!

对于基础更好的孩子,也可以在放学路上问问他们在学校都学了什么。可以用第一部分我们讨论过的 “I Spy,” “20 Questions,” or “What’s that?” 作为练习方法。

· 在银行:

在银行我们有绝佳的机会来练习钱和数字。除此之外我们也可以在讨论与之相关的工作、物品及银行内部的摆设等等。

· 在家:

做饭和吃饭时:可以说说食物。可以讨论一下食物的味道,冷热,喜不喜欢等。也可以练习一些饭桌用语,如“I’d like some more, please. Do we have any…? Please pass the…. It needs more salt. I’m full! I’m still hungry.”等。

早上:还有什么比用英文来进行早起时的问候更新奇有趣的呢?早上有太多机会让我们练习英语了:“Good morning! Time to wake up. Do I have to? Yes, of course. What should I wear? How about this? What’s for breakfast? Did you brush your teeth? Don’t forget your bookbag. What time is it? Let’s go! Have a great day! I’ll carry that, Mom. Bye Grandma! See you later!”

晚上:还有什么比用外语来总结一天的辛劳更让人有成就感呢?晚上同样有数不尽的练习英语的机会,而这些只是冰山一角:“It’s time for bed. Is your homework done? Let me help you pack your backpack. I brushed my teeth and took a shower. How about you? Let me see. Oh, very clean! I’m sleepy. Are you tired? I’m not sleepy. Can I stay up? You’ll be tired in the morning. I’ll come tuck you in. Can you read me a story? Mommy, sing me a song. I love you. Sweet dreams!”

为什么要在这些时候说英语呢?

在学校里绝大部分的外语课上,孩子们是没有机会在活动中使用英语的。他们只是嘴上说说,书上写写,却不能看到、摸到或者亲自去体验这些东西,所以很难把自己学到的内容和实际结合起来。所谓“纸上得来终觉浅”,这正是为什么我们常说传统的应试教育只能教出哑巴英语。

学习一门语言,我们必须要将音、形和义联系起来。想要真正在脑海里将声音、信息和语义建立联系,我们需要的不只是“字面上的意思”。当一个人对一门语言很熟练的时候,他是不会在自己的脑子里做翻译的,而是对于同样的信号,他的大脑产生了不止一种语言的解读方式。为了建立这样的直接联系,我们需要一定的语言环境和感觉:颜色、外形、温度、运动、声音等等。这些多维的语言环境加深了我们对于语言的理解,这样我们才能真正自如地使用这个语言。这样建立的联系才能真正提高说一门语言的流利度。

各式各样的环境还可以为我们提供无穷的素材。我们身边的任何物品和景象,都能成为练习英语的机会。在这一练习过程中,我们也在培养孩子对世界的好奇心,以及逐渐适应说英语的过程,让他们不再感到羞涩、紧张。这样说来,在生活中练习英语,实在是百利而无一害的有效练习手段。

我的孩子会不会觉得这就是在家上学呢?

这取决与家长到底如何和孩子互动。如果我们前三部分讨论的各种要点都能做到,这个活动就已经不再是学习,而成了一种娱乐。记住,有趣是第一要点,不要把它当做考试——它应该是陪孩子玩的过程!

一旦我们慢慢将英语带进日常生活,我们就已经开始将孩子培养成双语者了。说英语对他们来说会成为一件稀松平常的事,因此也不会觉得像在上学了。日积月累,即使在学校的英语课上,孩子也不会觉得这是在学习,因为英语已经成了他们生活的一部分了。

最后一部分我们还会介绍更多的和孩子用英语互动的方法。在接下来的部分“一起写首英文歌”中,我们还会继续探讨一些有趣的点子和常见问题。

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