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Cambridge English Language Assessment
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With support from both teachers and parents, children have more chances to use and improve their language.
Yes! You can help your child to gain in confidence and feel more motivated by giving them lots of praise and opportunities to practise English. It’s easier for children to learn when they get encouragement at home.
You could also all learn some English together. If you are enthusiastic about learning the language, they will be too.
Use our free FAQs, tips and resources! Here’s how to get started:
There is a difference between ‘instruction’ and ‘education’.
Parents play a vital role by giving children the courage and confidence to do their work, providing encouragement and helping them develop study skills.
Homework tip: if your child gets stuck, don’t rush in with the solution. Sometimes a child just needs a minute by themselves to work through the problem. If they are still stuck, discuss how they could find out more. For example they could use a dictionary, glossary, past paper example answers or internet research.
Rewards can sometimes produce one-time actions, rather than developing long-term study skills. It’s really important to praise effort, not just results and intelligence.
This means praising your child if they have kept going when they’ve found something hard, or found a way to solve a problem by themselves. Research shows that children who receive this type of praise make the best progress in their studies.1
Teachers usually can’t offer rewards other than praise. Parents have many options – and the rewards don’t have to cost anything. For example, you could try:
No. Children can hear differences in pronunciation and their accents are influenced by lots of different things – their teachers, their peer group, actors in films, and so on.
Children’s accents can easily change as they are growing up. From teenage years onwards, pronunciation is more difficult to master.
Remember, there is no single ‘correct’ English pronunciation. In countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and USA, there are over 100 different regional and local varieties of English.
Furthermore, the majority of people who use English come from other countries all over the world. English speakers are used to hearing lots of different accents – it’s a really important part of learning the language.
No, nothing in our research suggests this is a problem. Remember to plan separate times to focus on each language. If you say a sentence in English and then again in another language, your child will automatically listen for their stronger language and ‘tune out’ the other language.
Don’t worry if your child sometimes gets confused when they’re learning English. It’s normal to have a U-shaped learning curve. One step back, then two steps forward!
1 The New York Times, Helping Students Motivate Themselves (accessed 30 November 2017).