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Kid's age is currently 6 months. Country: India

I can write English well but am not fluent when it comes to speaking. I don;t have any native English speakers around me.

What are my other options of making the kid learn English at home?

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Are you now living in a country where English is a major language? Its much easier to learn a language by exposure to people who have it as a first language, or are at least fluent in it. –  Warren Hill Dec 1 '13 at 9:54
    
What Warren said: without knowing what sort of language environment you live in, we can't answer this. –  Martha Dec 2 '13 at 23:25
    
@Martha added country name. –  TheIndependentAquarius Dec 3 '13 at 0:48
    
    
Stream kid shows from the US or England. –  Alex In Paris Dec 24 '13 at 14:35
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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I was in exactly the same situation a couple of years ago. I took it as a challenge. Today, my son is 4 and we both speak English.

It's kinda funny though. When people ask:

Ah, you're teaching him English? That's great, man!

My answer is:

Nope. We are actually learning the language together.

Here're some tips off the top of my head:

  • use dictionary app; have it always with you
  • listen to podcasts and subscribe to Netflix
  • learn new words together, use Wikipedia often
  • be consistent and use English day and night

So far, it's been an amazing journey.

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Netflix is not available in India. –  abhi Mar 25 at 20:14
    
@abhi There are plenty of services that make it available everywhere. –  Rudolf Adamkovic Mar 25 at 22:56
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The best way to teach your child English is to not speak it at home.

I have a friend who works with non-native kids in a school, helping them catch up. She says the typical profile of the children coming to her are kids whose parents tried to speak the local language with them... badly. The parents have good intentions, but by the time the kids would start school, the only language they would know is an ungrammatical, nonfluent, broken variant of the local language. Kids whose parents use their native language at home are in a much better position: they are competent speakers of at least one language, they have the natural fluency that comes with speaking well, and their brains are used to automatic use of proper grammar. For them, learning a new language is a simple process of learning new words and some new rules. These kids typically stay in my friend's remedial class much shorter, and go on to have better grades in school.

When my son was born, in a country which is foreign to us, several pediatricians gave us the same advice: use only your native language. And since my son is learning two different languages at home at once, I have come to observe the fact that learning that a concept can have a name is very different (and much more difficult) than learning that the concept has another name in another language. For example, he might not understand colors at all, but once something clicks and he learns the name of a color for the first time, he'll be able to learn it in his other two languages in no time.

So the best way to teach your child English at home is to get an English-speaking babysitter. :) You can also turn on the radio, spend time with people who are native speakers, or enroll your child in daycare. Over time, your child will very likely learn English much better than your native tongue anyway.

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My situation is as follows I am English but for a number of years worked for a large engineering company in Thailand. Here there were a few English families and Japanese families together with the local Thai population.

While living in Thailand I married a local girl and we had our daughter. At the time my wife spoke little English and my Thai was less than ideal but I was able to a conversation on most subjects without too much difficulty.

Initially at least we decided that I should speak English at home to our daughter but as my wife's English was poor I had to have the majority of conversations with her in Thai. We rapidly decided this was a bad idea as she was confusing the two languages.

Children do not seam to have much problem learning more than one language at the same time providing the context was clear so we spoke only Thai at home and when with Thai friends but English when with our English and Japanese friends. My daughter was then more able to keep these separate in her head and now speaks both fluently.

We have since moved back to England and I am divorced though I still keep in contact with my ex wife and I have custody of my daughter. Today my daughter only speaks English with me and with her friends here but is happy to continue to speak Thai to her extended family and friends in Thailand both on the phone and when I take her on holiday.

It's essential to learn a language from people who speak it fluently otherwise you will teach your child how to speak the language badly.

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+1 for the summary in your last paragraph - that's also my experience. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Dec 3 '13 at 12:00
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Seek help in older relatives of child. Maybe a private lessons?

Otherwise you have to learn that language, team up with other parents and try to teach by yourself.

To complete my answer that's what my parents did. They invested what they could (time, money in books, computer software, private lessons, introducing me to natives) in me to later make me responsible for teaching brother and sister; I was (am) in charge of translating and resarching things in second language for family now.

If you just want to make your child pass a class team up with other parents with homework and shared lessons - that's usually enough.

Another aspect is that children learn things fast. But if not stimulated by need to actually use their new skills they will quickly forget it in favor of other, more needed matter.

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