Overcoming The Fear Of Speaking In English: How To Help

In Singapore, children who grew up with a language other than English are faced with the challenge of picking up English in school. As a side effect of being thrust into an English-speaking environment, children may be reluctant to speak English. To help these kinds of children, parents and teachers need to find ways to encourage them and boost their confidence.

If your child is in this situation, here are some strategies to ease them into English and help them overcome their fear.

Address their fears

Find out what is hindering your child. Are they afraid of the new environment, or are they afraid of making mistakes? Once you know what the root cause of their fear is, you can start to address it.

Assure your child that making mistakes is a normal part of learning – and even adults make blunders! The next time you make a mistake, highlight your error and show them how it is a good opportunity for learning.

Practise at home

Using English at home makes your child grow more familiar and comfortable with it, and provides a safe space for them to practise without fear of judgment. If your child was not exposed to English at home yet, now is the time to introduce it.

This doesn’t mean English has to take over your main home language – instead, you can allocate certain days, times, or subject matters to be strictly discussed in English.

Hire a tutor

If your child does not have adequate exposure to English at home, it will be beneficial to increase their interactions with the language through enrichment classes. Many English tuition centres in Singapore cater to primary school children and provide engaging language learning opportunities.

These fun-filled classes enable children to feel less pressured while learning. The smaller class sizes than those in school also means your child will get the extra support, encouragement, and guidance that they need.

Enjoy English entertainment options

It will be tough to expect your child to be reading English storybooks from day one. Instead, you can start them with English audio-books or English cartoon shows. This helps your child will get used to the sound of English, and encourages them to implicitly pick up the language.

Of course, this also means it is absolutely necessary to vet through the stories and shows you let your child watch to ensure they are child-friendly!

By giving your child more exposure to the English language, they will grow more comfortable with it. Soon, speaking in English will also become second nature to them.

As your child gradually progresses to reading and writing, they may also require guidance to get them up to scratch. But not to fret! There are ample English writing courses in Singapore that can help your child develop fluent reading and writing skills. So, take it one step at a time, and watch your child blossom into a confident English speaker!

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