Coming from a non-English speaking background and working in the international arena has made honing my language skills extremely important to me personally and professionally. As a mother, I am very aware of the advantages that proficiency in the world’s first common language, English, will bring to my children. My kids already understand the benefits that being able to speak English signifies. When we travel they are able to converse with other children and people who also speak English as a second (or third!) language.
In kid-terms the payoff is tangible – they can make friends with, play with, and enjoy the company of, children from other cultures – it makes their overseas experience way more fun! It’s not difficult to interest my children in learning English and in fact, they are independently keen to acquire new language skills (German and Spanish) as a result of their travel experiences. My husband and I have not had to "cajole" them into language learning – a huge bonus for us!
In many countries, English is taught in schools, some even teaching primary age children, onwards. Of course, having an English lesson once a week or so, does not rapidly advance fluency. So we do some additional learning at home – practicing spoken English and more fun, reading books together. The kids have been using a Kindle, which gives them a good range of children’s books to suit their age and their interests. This has been fantastic, as in Hungary, the availability of English reading material is pretty limited. Finding great children’s authors even more so! As with learning anything, it is far easier and more motivational, if you can access appealing resources quickly and easily, as well as being able to find learning tools, like fun, illustrated story books, and having a wide range of choice available to you.
When I was a child, having a resource, like the Kindle Store, at my fingertips, would have seemed like an Aladdin’s Cave of wonders! As an IT expert, I never fail to marvel at the advances that have been made in the past few decades, and which are continually being made now. The technology today continues to shrink the world, putting so much more within the reach of each of us, whilst expanding our individual world to embrace the global community. I find this fantastically exciting!
If you aren’t already using some of these great e-resources for your kids, I would urge you to take a look – you’ll be impressed and amazed – and your kids will love it! And as always, please let me know your experiences!
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