At LuckyKids International Summer Camp we create an artificial English language environment for children so that they can practice the language. Logically, our first advice to parents will be directed in this direction. Practicing the language is extremely important. For this reason, any opportunity that the child can receive as a workshop is beneficial. We start the recommendations from the summer.
Summer period: Summer period is very rewarding for practicing the language, through informal or extracurricular activities. If the child has been at a language camp with us for 7-14 days, he has another month and a half in which to find application in English.
- Holidays in an English-speaking country – this is a perfect way for the child to apply what he has learned. Encourage the child to ask for directions when finding a place you want to visit. Reading together the instructions in the subway or the sign of a monument is a very adequate practice.
Listen to the different accents and melodies of the language in different countries – let the child share what impresses him. It may not be a long break, but a short visit for a few days – it is always helpful.
- Themed camp abroad – rock climbing, safari, research camp, sea adventures – windsurfing, surfing, everything is welcome to practice the language. If the child has interests and you find a similar camp outside the country, then he will again find himself in an artificial English-speaking environment.
- Sea abroad – a family vacation in any other country where the use of English is universal, helps a lot. It can be a distant or near destination – it doesn’t matter.
- Communication with children of other nationalities – whether in the country or abroad. Encourage the child’s communication with children of other nationalities no matter where you spend your holiday.
- Performing daily routine activities in another language when you are not in your home country – instead of ordering in the restaurant, ask the child to order, to ask for the products in the store, to ask for the key to the reception. Such routine activities are often the basis for unlocking free communication.
- Visiting relatives abroad – if you have such an option, it is also very suitable for the summer months. Visiting grandparents, uncles, aunts, family friends who do not live in your home country can be very helpful.
- Watching movies and shows in English – we recommend, although such an activity is often not under the control of the parent (for older children). But for the younger ones, action is entirely possible. In the future, they will only choose and the language will not be of paramount importance.
- Reading age-appropriate English literature. The stimulus can always be “Look how interesting a book is – it is not in Bulgarian, but we can take it in English.” This activity, as well as the previous one, are suitable for year-round stimulation.
During school hours:
- Our first recommendation is related to private lessons: if your child attends such lessons, we recommend that the child practice at least once a week with a teacher whose mother tongue is English
- If the child has made contact with children from other countries during the summer holidays, encourage to keep and maintain those contacts. The child’s communication with peers – online, via e-mail or phone calls has many positives, in addition to practicing the language.
- The music the child listens to – In addition to checking for obscene content, it’s a good idea to ask the child if he or she understands its meaning. In casual conversations, you can encourage the child to tell what the song is about.
In this case, understanding content and understanding the meaning of a foreign language is practiced, which is of great importance. Often children recognize the words but fail to understand the message.
- Family board games in English – all forms of monopolies and arcade games with English terms are welcome. Even if you understand their meaning – let the children explain. This is also a form of encouragement.
- If you know the language, you can communicate in English with the children. In this variant of practice it is good: one parent to communicate in English with the child from birth (maybe both, but it is preferable for the other parent to speak the native language to create a bilingual environment) , if this is not done, then specific topics are chosen that are communicated only in English (something like a “secret” language).
It is important for the parent to master the language at a high enough level so that he does not make major lexical and grammatical errors that the child has to correct later. It is also recommended that the language be literary, not colloquial (slang).
- Watching theatrical productions and performances in a foreign language – the Internet offers many and has a wide choice for all ages. An example of this is the production of the musical “The Lion King” at the British National Theater.
Everyday life and life:
- Street signs – Are you impressed by the inscriptions in English? Try to encourage the child to read them as well.
- Restaurant menu – if the menu is not bilingual, ask for English to compare and analyze the translation.
- Manual for use of appliances, toys and equipment – a very interesting read, with several aspects. Not only will you make sure that the child (and you) use the appliance / toy / technique correctly, it will also be useful for the language practitioner to read and understand the instructions.
- Instructions and information on food packaging – again combines the useful with the pleasant. In addition to learning more about the composition of packaged foods, the child will learn new terms.
- Movies with subtitles – when the children are older, they can watch movies with subtitles in Bulgarian. Subconsciously, the child recognizes speech in English and often does not read the translation because he understands. We recommend that you include documentaries with social and natural themes when choosing films.
All practices are suitable both before and after visiting the camp. In addition to giving interesting ideas for spending time together, they also help to develop the language and overcome the “language barrier” – children feel comfortable using the language even when they know they do not know it well. To maintain and develop the language we recommend all activities that include indirect learning. The foundation is laid in school, and practice reinforces what has been learned.