Motivation is one of the most important factors in language learning. Children who are enthusiastic about learning English are more likely to work hard.
The most powerful type of motivation is when children enjoy learning and the learning experience is fun and interesting.
Any language ‘work’ you do at home that is fun, varied, attention-grabbing or creative will help your child prepare for their exams and develop their English language skills in a natural, stress-free way.
Outdoor language learning activities
Watch your children playing. What do they enjoy doing?
- Reading stories
- Physical play and sports
- Drawing pictures
- Going on treasure hunts
- Using their imagination
- Playing games
- Collecting shells, flowers, leaves.
Try doing these types of activities in English and make a note of what your child responds to best.
English learning tips
- Ask your child to collect some items that interest them. For example, a shell, a flower or a pebble. Ask them to create their own exhibition and to write a caption for each item.
- Ask your child to shoot a short, silent video. For example, my favourite places, or my favourite things to do outdoors. Ask your child to write 10–20 English words to describe their video. If they feel confident, they could then record a voiceover to their video, using the words from their list.
- Outdoor adventures can be a great inspiration for creative writing. Ask your child to take some photos of things that interest them. Then ask them to use one or more of the pictures to write a short story.
- Ask your child to write and illustrate a one-week ‘weather diary’ or ‘outdoor activities diary’.
- Give your child a list of things to find. For example, a tree, a bird, a petal, something ‘yellow’, something ‘old’, something that starts with every letter of the alphabet (A–Z). Ask them to take a photograph of each item. This is a great game to play on a walk.
- Ask your child to research an outdoor food recipe - something that could be cooked on a barbeque/campfire, or something that could be prepared for a picnic.
- Your child might like to create their own outdoor reading den. Encourage your child to read storybooks outside, particularly books about outdoor adventures and nature.
Speaking and listening activities
- Decide on an obstacle course, with objects that have to be avoided (for example, trees, bushes, footballs). One family member will walk through the obstacle course while blindfolded. Another family member will guide them using English words (e.g. left, right, stop, take one step back).
- Play guessing games such as I spy something that starts with the letter … and 20 questions (ask your child to think of something, then ask up to 20 questions to guess what it is).
- Try playing the game Simon says. Give your child an instruction. For example, ‘Simon says jump’, ‘Simon says touch your toes’, ‘Simon says pretend to be a duck’. If the sentence starts with ‘Simon says’ your child should act out the instruction. If the sentence doesn’t start with ‘Simon says’ your child should ignore the instruction and stay completely still.