How do you teach your kids to speak proper english?

Discussions on tuition centres/enrichment services that specialise in English.

How do you teach your kids to speak proper english?

Postby sunny » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:41 pm

My DD is 4.5 years old now. At home, we speak almost 90% mandarin as we feel that english is easier to pick up than mandarin in s'pore. And also because DH's and my english is not as good as mandarin.

Recently, I start letting DD tell me stories based on the pictures in the books, in English. I am glad that she's willing to tell the story and show some confidence when she's doing it. However, the sentences in her stories were with lots of grammatical mistakes and with broken english. I only corrected her once a while as I do not want to lower her self esteem and she might not want to do story telling next time.

Can anyone share with me on how i could help her to speak proper english? Any enrichment centre that you can recommend?

sunny
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Postby magic mushroom » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:31 pm

we're in the same predicament. 'cept that my daughter speaks, reads, write, breathes english and absolutely hates chinese!
:?:

magic mushroom
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Postby briskcross » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:06 pm

I believe in Lorna Whiston because I went there myself when I was a kid (my family spoke Chinese) and my English improved drastically. Now my son is attending. I like it that they have a progressive reading programme so I know my son is reading books (2 books a week) suitable for his level, then they move up gradually.

However, a friend shared that her daughter brought back Singlish, picked up from her classmates there, so she withdrew after a few months. So I really don't know..........

briskcross
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Postby 67283 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:26 pm

As a 17 year old who speaks proper English, I think the best way for children to learn to speak proper English is by speaking proper English to them and encourage them to read more books (which you are doing).

My parents always spoke proper English to me and the first time I learnt about Singlish was when I entered primary school. Back then, when I spoke a word of Singlish, my parents immediately corrected me and explained why that was incorrect. Till this day they still do so (but less often!).

My parents encouraged reading from an early age and my brother and I became voracious readers.

Another factor that I attribute my speaking of proper English is that I tend to hang around people who speak proper English. In fact, one of my best friends has been called a grammar Nazi by many!

Although some may recommend that children learn the elements of a sentence, such as verbs and adjectives, I think that when proper English is spoken and reinforced, it will develop.

67283
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Postby ZacK » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:56 pm

67283 wrote:As a 17 year old who speaks proper English, I think the best way for children to learn to speak proper English is by speaking proper English to them and encourage them to read more books (which you are doing).

My parents always spoke proper English to me and the first time I learnt about Singlish was when I entered primary school. Back then, when I spoke a word of Singlish, my parents immediately corrected me and explained why that was incorrect. Till this day they still do so (but less often!).

My parents encouraged reading from an early age and my brother and I became voracious readers.

Another factor that I attribute my speaking of proper English is that I tend to hang around people who speak proper English. In fact, one of my best friends has been called a grammar Nazi by many!

Although some may recommend that children learn the elements of a sentence, such as verbs and adjectives, I think that when proper English is spoken and reinforced, it will develop.


I agree with what you are saying... My wife and I are very conscious about speaking properly to our kids... I find that with my friends, I let out more ahs and lahs etc... but with my boys I tend to be more conscious... To the extent that sometimes DS1 speaks with an accent to make his point :roll:

We know for a fact that it helped that we started reading regularly to our elder boy when he was very young. We do not push him now other than to do the necessary school related work... When he has idle time, he either reads his own books or doodles on the magnetic board.

ZacK
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Postby Ykiasu » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:56 am

Sad to say but my DS's spoken Eng gets bad everytime he returns to school after the long holiday breaks.

All my effort down the drain :(

I think our kids r just too busy n stressed that they do not have the energy, time and mood to put in extra effort to speak properly.

Worse still, he comes back saying that classmates get punished even if they whisper in class, how will our next generation ever learn to communicate. They r just trained to churn out exam papers after exam papers :?:

Ykiasu
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Postby littlewoman » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:04 pm

Ykiasu wrote:Sad to say but my DS's spoken Eng gets bad everytime he returns to school after the long holiday breaks.

All my effort down the drain :(

I think our kids r just too busy n stressed that they do not have the energy, time and mood to put in extra effort to speak properly.

Worse still, he comes back saying that classmates get punished even if they whisper in class, how will our next generation ever learn to communicate. They r just trained to churn out exam papers after exam papers :?:


That's true! And I find it very hard to correct the bad English as my kids will say that is how their friends speak. I also do not want to send my child to the more "English-speaking" schools like MGS or ACS as their Chinese is also bad so I want them to go to the more chinese kind-Ai tong to work on their chinese, but then they come back with English like that. Esp my older one, younger one still in preschool so seems to be not as bad.

I heard of friends sending their kids to Julia Gabriel to correct this, don't know if it will help and they are quite ex!!

littlewoman
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Postby cherrygal » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:47 am

To have your kids speak proper English, you would need to speak proper English to them from a young age. At the stage when they are still grappling with grammar in nursery or kindy, you have to say what they are trying to say in the proper way. Try to cut the baby talk.

Kid: Open door
You: You want me to open the door?
Kid: On lights
You: Switch on the lights

There is no need to reprimand or say "no, incorrect" to the kid. Just reinforce what's correct by saying it after them. They will soon get it.

My son does very well in his grammar as he has constantly listened to us speak. He usually chooses the correct answer even if not taught.

cherrygal
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Postby duriz » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:51 am

cherrygal wrote:To have your kids speak proper English, you would need to speak proper English to them from a young age. At the stage when they are still grappling with grammar in nursery or kindy, you have to say what they are trying to say in the proper way. Try to cut the baby talk.

Kid: Open door
You: You want me to open the door?
Kid: On lights
You: Switch on the lights

There is no need to reprimand or say "no, incorrect" to the kid. Just reinforce what's correct by saying it after them. They will soon get it.

My son does very well in his grammar as he has constantly listened to us speak. He usually chooses the correct answer even if not taught.


:goodpost:

duriz
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Postby UncleLim » Mon Nov 15, 2010 3:00 pm

cherrygal wrote:To have your kids speak proper English, you would need to speak proper English to them from a young age. At the stage when they are still grappling with grammar in nursery or kindy, you have to say what they are trying to say in the proper way. Try to cut the baby talk.

Kid: Open door
You: You want me to open the door?
Kid: On lights
You: Switch on the lights

There is no need to reprimand or say "no, incorrect" to the kid. Just reinforce what's correct by saying it after them. They will soon get it.

My son does very well in his grammar as he has constantly listened to us speak. He usually chooses the correct answer even if not taught.


There is almost no way of stopping children speaking in broken English since most of us parents do it ourselves. As cherrygal suggested, the first people we need to correct are ourselves. The kids will follow suit.

I correct them (when I remember to) by asking:

"What did you just say?"

"Will you rephrase that in proper English please?"

It is often very tough even after thinking to say it the right way because we have been speaking English using Chinese sentence structures.

UncleLim
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