If you and your family are non-native English speakers and you live in a non-English speaking country, your child might find it very difficult to acquire any level of fluency. Take Bangkok as a classic example; a Thai family with a child would not have much opportunity to speak English and in a Thai school, the students would learn English for one period per day, which is not enough to acquire any level of fluency.

Here are a few tips to help your child become a fluent English speaker.

  • Study at an international school – If you enroll your son or daughter in an international program when they are young, by the time they reach middle school, they will have a good level of English understanding, which is the passport to a good future. Of course, international schools use English as the language of instruction, which means after a couple of years, fluency can be attained.
  • Use English at home – This is a great way to improve your child’s English; it might feel strange at first to speak a foreign language with your child but after a while, it becomes second nature. This might seem futile, but a little at a time does work; young children will understand things like ‘come here’, eat your breakfast’ and ‘it’s time for school’ all help to bring English into their lives.
  • Watch original soundtrack movies – This is yet another way to bring English into your children’s lives. Sure, it might be more convenient to watch the film with Thai subtitles, but that will do little to improve their English understanding. Cartoons and other kid’s programs should all be watched in English, while radio also provides an opportunity to listen to English language programs.
  • Private English lessons – There are private language schools with evening and weekend classes and enrolling your child into an English language course is a great way to improve their language skills. Search with Google for a list of English language institutions near your home and choose one that offers fun-based activities, rather than serious study, as kids do not like extra academic study outside of regular school.
  • Nurture a love of English – This is important, especially with younger kids and when they see that English is important and they miss out in some way if they don’t understand, this is usually all the motivation they need to learn the language.

The best way to learn a language is to live in the country of that language and if that isn’t possible, enroll your child in an international school and English will come naturally.