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Contributing Writer: Anna Claire Miller
Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, and enjoyment, and what better way to celebrate that than with a vacation! But what if you’re worried your child or student will lose some of the amazing English skills they worked so hard on throughout the year while you’re away from home? No worries! There are lots of ways to help your child learn English. Luckily, we’ve curated our 5 Favorite Ways to Practice English on Vacation to keep your child’s English skills sharp and maybe even help them get ahead.
For starters, it is best to prepare by simply knowing the basics and how to use them. For example: “Hello”, “How are you?”, “Where is the restroom?”, and “Thank you!”.
Knowing these simple phrases and when and how to use them are perfect for young English speakers and will help them in many situations throughout a vacation. So, don’t try to cram in a whole new set of vocabulary before you leave, because these basics will help you with everything you need.
Here are 5 fun and low-stress ways to help your child practice their English while on vacation:
- Road Signs
You can help your child practice their English even before you reach your destination by getting them to read and pronounce words on the road signs. You can look out for city and state names, speed limit numbers, and directions. Practicing names of cities and states can help children understand geography and speed limit numbers can help with counting and math. In addition, signs that say north or south can help your child understand directions. This easy activity is great for learning and practicing English, but also extends to learning other essential subjects.
Another easy way to help your child practice English while on vacation is by getting them to read the menu. This gives your child a sense of independence by being able to read their menu and helps them learn and pronounce words they may have never seen before. Allowing your child to read the menu can also help them learn how to order when eating out. Give this a try the next time you are out to eat at your favorite vacation spot!
One great way to practice both speaking and writing in English is by sending postcards. While you’re vacationing, have your child write a quick little postcard to a loved one to tell them how your trip is going and what activities you have planned. Not only is this a thoughtful activity for kids to try, but getting them to write in English can in turn strengthen their speaking. A bonus is that people always love a surprise in the mail!
- Films, Music, & Audiobooks
For those rainy vacation days, you and your child can enjoy some movies or music and even an audiobook. Listening to or singing in English can help with a child’s comprehension and pronunciation of certain words. Movies and music are also great for a child’s brain because it helps with the development of overall literacy skills. Watching movies, listening to music, or reading books helps the body and mind work together, which further enhances a child’s English skills.
- Tours, Activities & Interaction
One last way you can help your child’s English proficiency is through tours and local activities at your vacation spot. Things like local museums, parks, and stores are great ways to help your child with speaking and learning English. This is because, at these destinations, your child will have true interaction with other people which helps them become more proficient and confident in their English. The best way to improve is by doing, and by keeping your child in a fairly normal environment such as a store, you can easily and comfortably help them improve with their English speaking.
Those are the 5 ways to help your child improve and practice their English throughout a vacation. Small actions like these are fun for you and your child and give you as a parent the opportunity to help them grow and learn. All of these methods help with preventing summer learning loss and help keep your child confident in their English.
So the next time you’re on vacation, you can be more confident in your child’s progression in their English, because now you have 5 fun ways to help them practice when you are away from home!
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