Welcome to the Cambridge English Parents’ Newsletter!
Thank you for signing up for our newsletter! As parents, there are so many ways you can help your children enjoy learning English effectively. We hope you will enjoy reading the latest advice from language learning experts and sharing the learning activities in this newsletter with your children.
The Cambridge English Parents’ Newsletter is written for parents of children learning English. In each issue, you will find things like:
language learning activities that you can do with your child
tips for helping your child learn English effectively
articles about topics related to language learning and young people
news and information about Cambridge English exams and preparation materials.
English is so important for young people today – for their studies, for their future careers, for travel, for making friends … English touches many aspects of young people’s hopes and dreams. Your children are probably learning English much younger and faster than you did, and naturally you want to help them do the best they can.
Learning a second language is not a short journey or an easy one – it takes time, energy and imagination. We’re looking forward to helping you make sure that, for your child, learning English is a rewarding journey, and a fun one.
Learning activity: Something beginning with …
Here’s a simple activity you can do with your child at home, to build vocabulary and practise letters and the sounds they make. First, say a certain letter of the alphabet, for example ‘T’, or the sound ‘tuh’. Your child then names everything they can see beginning with 'T', such as 'television', 'table', 'telephone', etc. Include objects seen through the window, such as 'tree', 'truck' or 'train'. Then choose another letter and do the same.
With more than one child you can make the activity into a competition – who can name the most objects beginning with that letter? Give older children a time limit to see who can write down the most, or include objects you can't see.
Alternatively, say ‘I can see something beginning with [letter]’ and ask everyone to guess which object you are thinking of. Whoever gets it right takes the next turn!
Learning activity: Shopping!
Children of all ages love role-playing, especially shopping! Set up a 'shop' on a table, using real or ‘pretend’ money and household items such as packets of food. Ask your 'customer(s)' in English what they would like and encourage them to continue the whole shopping dialogue in English. For example, they could say, ‘Can I have a ______, please?’, ‘Here you are’, ‘Thank you’, ‘Anything else?’ and ‘How much is that?’.
Help your child to count the money – you can use a calculator for a cash register. Encourage your child to return to your shop several times, and to take over the role of shopkeeper. You could also create other shops, such as a post office, a toy shop, a shoe shop, a clothes shop, a bookshop or a chemist's.
If your child is going to live in an English-speaking country in future, you can also use this game to show them money and objects from that culture.
Learning tip: Learning through drawing
Many things that children do for fun give an opportunity to learn English, and drawing is a good example of this. When your child finishes a drawing, you or the ‘artist’ can label the picture, using only English words and phrases.
Either let your child draw whatever they like, or create a category for each page, such as animals, colours, sports, food,countries and so on. Either way, your child’s drawing book will soon become a colourful, memorable vocabulary notebook. You can then play a game: look at an old page of the notebook, cover the writing and ask the child to remember the words.
This is one of many ways in which ‘everyday fun’ activities can become ‘learning English’ activities – English can be part of your child’s life, not just something they study at school.
Cambridge English learning resources
Sample exam papers and more free resources – download many types of free resources from the Cambridge ESOL website.
Games – children can practise English with our Academy island game. More games are coming soon – we’ll tell you all about them in the next newsletter!
More official Cambridge English preparation materials
Cambridge ESOL and Cambridge University Press have brought together their expertise to produce the only official preparation materials for Cambridge English exams. Find out more by taking a look at what’s available.
Latest from Cambridge ESOL
Find out your child’s level of English using our Test your English page (suitable for children in secondary education).
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