Public speaking may come naturally to some children, but in the end parents need to encourage them to overcome their fear. There are many fun activities that you can do together which will help your kid become more confident with their English speaking skills and therefore get over the fear of public speaking. Read on to know more!
In our childhood, we all face stage-fear and feel shy speaking in front of an audience. One of the most essential skills needed in public speaking for kids is to speak fluent English, with confidence. As parents, there is a lot we can do to ensure that our child enjoys speaking in English and has no fear of speaking in public.
Here are 7 tips to improve your child’s spoken English skills
1. Reading Storybooks Aloud
Stories are a great way to get children interested in reading books. Sit with your child for a dedicated reading time every day and read the books aloud to them. Slowly, you can encourage your child to read the books aloud by themselves even. This can help develop confidence in speaking English for kids, with better pronunciation and vocabulary.
2. Listen to Audio Books Together
To get comfortable with a language, it is important to read, speak and listen to English every day. Listening to stories or poems in English, from Audiobooks is a fun way to spend time together. This will help your kid’s English speaking by improving their pronunciation and vocabulary. Use the commuting time to school to listen to audiobooks together or substitute audiobooks for TV to incorporate this into your child’s daily routine.
3. Don’t Be a Grammar Police
Learning grammar is not an excellent way of teaching English to kids. Don’t correct your child’s grammar frequently as they speak, encourage them to converse in English as well as they can, and slowly you will find their grammar improving as they listen to correct grammar from you and others. Making frequent corrections can make a child scared to use English for fear of making mistakes.
4. Treat Your Child As a Communication Partner
This is a simple technique of how to encourage a child to speak English. Don’t interrupt your child with corrections and don’t offer prompts to your child by finishing their sentences. In the beginning, children need more time to find the right words to form a sentence. So, be patient, and converse with them as you would with an adult who is fluent in English. It is also helpful to praise your child for talking in English from time to time.
5. Movie Night
Encourage your children to watch English movies. This allows them to listen to English from native speakers. This helps introduce the right phonics sounds for kids. This helps develop grammar and pronunciation. After the movie, take a few minutes to discuss the story. Encourage them to talk about the movie in English and say what they enjoyed or did not enjoy the movie.
6. Ask Questions About Their Day
Ask simple questions about your child’s day, that they can answer in English. This will help your children, and you share small details about what everyone did, how their day went, and if there is a fun incident to share.
7. Makeup Stories Together
This is a fun game for English speaking practice that you can mould according to your child’s age and level of English speaking. Take a character they love, perhaps from their favourite cartoon, and start building a story around it. For example, you could start by saying, “Once upon a time…” and your child could add the next sentence, and so forth.
For your child to develop any skill, including English speaking – the first thing they need is your support and encouragement. All of the above techniques are simple, inexpensive, and easy to do & you don’t need any teaching skills or expertise to do these activities with your children. With a little bit of patience, you can lead your children to enjoy English speaking and come out of their fear of public speaking.
About the Guest Author
Samidha Raj is a part of the content marketing team at PlanetSpark, a platform that provides online classes to K8 learners on “New Age Skills” like, English Communication, Public Speaking, Grammar, Creative Writing, Debating, etc. She is passionate about empowering the youth by educating parents about the importance of 21st-century skills. In her free time, you can find her watching documentaries or animated movies and organizing game nights (board games are her thing)!