We’ve got some helpful advice from a school that uses Cambridge English Qualifications for schools, the Interlingua Rhodes School in Greece.
Lillian Karamariou, Director of the School, says that parents have an essential role. When schools and parents work together, it can make a great difference for a child’s learning and happiness.
How can parents get involved?
No two schools are exactly the same – each school has its own ideas and ways of working. So the first thing to do is talk to your child’s teachers. For example, you could ask them:
- How can I support my child’s learning?
- How can we keep in touch about my child’s progress?
In our school, we introduce parents to the school’s philosophy and the curriculum. We show parents how to:
- help their child with their studies
- use resources such as books, videos and music
- develop their child’s study skills, so they are well organised and stress free.
How can parents support language learning at home?
In our school, we believe that all parents have an important role – even parents who are not confident with English. You can give your child the best support by being interested in their learning and giving them praise.
We encourage parents to adopt the idea that language learning is a non-stop process. Regular opportunities to use English at home will make a great deal of difference. For example, you could:
- read an English language bedtime story
- watch English language TV shows
- listen to English language music
- read English language news
- use educational apps on a tablet/mobile phone
- go shopping with an English language shopping list
- cook a meal with an English language recipe
- read a map and give directions in English
- play a board game in English
- record any English words you hear and see (add photos or pictures cut out of magazines)
- go on educational trips.
Try learning together – have fun on a shared journey to learn about the English language and culture.
What are some good questions to ask at parent meetings?
In our school, parent meetings are a great opportunity to have an honest discussion about a child’s progress (i.e. whether their learning is on track) and to explain test results.
But more than this, we are interested in the overall health and happiness of the child. So parent meetings in our school can cover lots of different things, such as how to provide extra support, new teaching methods, social and emotional health, and so on.
Parent meetings are usually short. If you want to make the most of them, get prepared. You could ask questions such as:
- What is the next biggest challenge for my child?
- How can I help my child work on this at home?
- What types of activity have helped my child to make the most progress?
What feedback is available from the test results?
I chose to work with Cambridge English because they offer quality. Children learn to meet the challenges, and their success is incomparable.
After your child has taken their exams, you can discuss the results with their teacher. For example, you might want to talk about:
- what the test measured
- your child’s strengths and needs
- new learning resources to support your child.
Did you know?
Schools that have introduced Cambridge English Qualifications say the tests have helped them to increase communication with parents. Schools say that parents are more aware of their children’s strengths and weaknesses, and more able to support their child with their learning and motivation.