Should I Pressure My Kids to Speak English?

In Vietnam, there is increasingly a trend for parents to pressure their children to speak English at a younger age. Learning English as early as 2 or 3 years old is a wise approach to your children’s educational path; research concludes that over 90% of a child’s brain develops before the age of 5 years old.

However, how much pressure should you put on your children to speak English to prove to you that all the money you’re paying for English classes has been well-spent?

A child’s hero is typically their mom or their dad. Parents are the greatest influencers on their kids, and children adapt their behavior based on the positive and negative reinforcement that parents give them. While it is recommended to encourage kids to speak English outside of school, if parents pressure their kids too much the effects could actually be counter-productive and damaging to the kids’ self-esteem. Here are some “do’s” and “don’ts” that will ensure you’re doing all you can to coach your kids toward English proficiency.

Don’t scold your kids if they do not speak English when you ask them to. Do compliment them when they attempt to speak, even if there English isn’t perfect.

 Don’t force your children to memorize too many words. Do encourage your children to use the words that they do know in complete sentences. Application is more important than having a large knowledge base of words that your children to not know how to use.

Don’t expect your children to learn to speak English overnight or buy-in to unrealistic sales pitches from English companies. Do have patience with your children and understand that learning a language is a process that takes time.

Don’t judge your children’s progress solely on how much or little they speak to you. Do get progress updates from your children’s teacher. Many children are shy and do not like to speak English in front of their parents, it doesn’t mean they aren’t learning and speaking English in class with their teacher.

Don’t believe that excessive studying will result in a greater skillset. Do believe that quality study time with an effective teacher and proven curriculum will result in a greater skillset.

By Christian M.Jacobs

Country Manager I Can Read VietNam

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