Methods and techniques for maintaining and improving the level after the camp
In my many years of practice as an English teacher, I have come across a variety of methods and techniques for maintaining the level of the language.
Here are methods and techniques I can recommend as they are proven effective:
Travel and stay in an English-speaking country
By visiting a foreign country with a spoken language – English, the child can directly apply their knowledge, to meet people native speakers of the language. Children are curious by nature and often make friends with ease – in case they are in an English-speaking environment, they can make friends with children with whom they can practice language daily in the process of communication and games. This is one of the most wonderful and enjoyable means of maintaining language.
Daily communication in the family
For some children, it is a great bonus that a family member can communicate in the respective language. This is an extremely good technique for maintaining the language. Often in my family, we communicate with my son in English and although at first this was unthinkable, now we do it with ease.
Sometimes we switch without thinking. There are, of course, families where this can’t happen, so for them I recommend other means.
Reading literature in English
I strongly recommend!
Reading, reading and reading again!
Children who read are more successful in school, and subsequently focus on a higher standard of education, respectively, become successful in professions sought after all over the world.
There is a little trick. It is at the beginning of this process when reading habits are created.
The child may want to learn this skill, but if the adult does not show it, it can be difficult. It is good for the adult in the family to take time, especially with the younger children, to sit in a quiet place and in a pleasant atmosphere, to read together favorite stories, tales, stories. The love for the book is created and it is in the hands of the learning parent
Much later comes the role of the teacher. Again, I recommend that parents start reading together from an early age, as the child hears, remembers and loves the book through them.
English literary work and art
In our modern world there are many technological tools for this type of activity. These can be interactive computer stories, stories told by actors, movies. Visual and auditory perception of natural English speech, through art, goes beyond all the words, rules and lessons we would like to teach.
The art of literary creation is not only a carrier of language literacy and improvement. It spreads the culture of the respective people and leads to a deeper understanding of the processes, laws and vocabulary of the language
In our lives, we often encounter works of art, travel to cities where art is highly revered, attend performances and exhibitions. These are incredible opportunities for practice and encounters with language.
Providing such an opportunity for children is a great experience for them. Creating interest not only in native but also in foreign art, is like opening more than one door to the world.
Music and songs
Many benefits that music training brings are described. Let us not forget that musical works and children’s songs are a source of linguistic and cultural knowledge. Like carols, they are not only a way to listen to authentic Bulgarian speech, but also to consider a deeply ancient Bulgarian tradition – caroling, such as the song about Humpty-Dumpty, the Easter Egg, looks at another English tradition and a way of celebrating, an attitude towards one of the Christian traditions.
The songs are carriers of many incomprehensible without them, culturological phenomena.
Who would understand English if he had not sung and danced “If You Are Happy and You Know It.” For itself, this song conveys thinking and belief coming from the ethnic group – movement is joy, it brings health and positive thoughts.
In the child’s daily life there is a special place dedicated to Fairy tales. They are part of childhood. They are friends in difficult and happy moments. That is why fairy tales in English are closest to the child in his early phase of learning.
Very often we use them in teaching the native language and to draw such a parallel with the foreign language is an extremely good technique.
Read the child’s stories, teach him to read them only! He will become a cosmopolitan citizen of the world, who understands the thinking of many people around the world because he has been touched from an early age.
One word a day
In the course of my own language training, I had the good fortune to meet a teacher who recommended a great technique that I still use.
No one lives with the thought that day X is coming, when they can say: “I have learned English completely! I have nothing more to learn! ”
This is impossible because language is a reality that is constantly evolving. That’s why even now, I apply the technique of learning “a complex word a day.” I find a word I’ve never met before and take the time during the day to think about it, to make examples, to use it in conversation or even to explain it to relatives and friends.
For the child, this can be any unfamiliar word. Once it has mastered and used it successfully, it is desirable to praise it. Thus the learning process will bring a pleasant emotion, and what is learned with pleasure will be remembered for a long time.
Another proven method used in suggestopedia is visualization. In many language classrooms, words, letters and whole sentences or texts can be seen in a prominent place.
The principle is simple – when the child sees a word many times a day, he remembers it visually and can easily reproduce it.
Why not use this method at home. Making words can be real fun – to be drawn on paper or cardboard, to be made of any materials (plasticine, dough, pasta, straws, foil, etc.). Putting them in a prominent place and the pleasant feeling that they are their own creation, only enhance their attractiveness and the child feels good when he looks at them often. Imperceptibly the words are memorized.
Writing is a higher form of education. Not every child has the desire to write at home, where there is more freedom and choice.
Writing does not need to be done by force. It is good to be encouraged and skillfully guided to development.
Most modern children do not like to write – this is my direct observation. However, there is a point in their development that, if caught, can turn any of them into a skillful writer. In my experience, this opportunity appears at an early age, between 5-6 years.
This is the time when the child is fascinated by the opportunity to approach the world of adults and begin to understand “mysterious hieroglyphs” of written speech. The charm of letters and words is still present, the child is still in the phase of discovery. With proper training and approach, both at school and at home, the child can maintain this love of the magic of the written word until the end of your life.
Online training and correspondence
For teenage students, English becomes a vital necessity. This is an important component of a young person’s modern life. Most applications, online training, interesting movies, cultural events and songs, are usually in English. For them, learning English and maintaining it is a matter of adapting to modern society.
That is why I can recommend the continuation of English language training through online participations, trainings, applications for daily use. Similarly, connecting with native speakers and correspondence in English, would also greatly improve the level achieved. Of course, always under the supervision of an adult.
Self-study and search
Some children are curious enough to be interested in their own self-education. They find independent means and ways.
At the moment, due to the announced pandemic, mass online training is being carried out, which already shows some advantages.
However, this in no way cancels the usual training present. At the moment, children necessarily become extremely digitally literate and this will improve their ability to search for and find their own sources for improving language skills.
Parental involvement and commitment
The important thing in the subsequent camp period is to provide the child with an environment that is conducive to his continued education. The language achievements of a child, which are evaluated and conditions are created for their improvement are the best investments made in their future.
To be empathetic to the child’s success, to rejoice in his achievements and to share every moment of solving a language challenge. Let’s remember – we parents have a huge influence in children’s lives, we are their navigators and show the way forward!
It is up to us how what has been started will be further developed, whether there will be a sequel and most importantly, how the knowledge will be applied in the child’s life.