Tips for Helping Children Learn English

Annittra Atler
3 min readJan 26


Getting used to a new language can be very challenging for people, especially children. Without the proper support and resources, they can feel demotivated and hopeless. Learning English can be particularly challenging. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources that can help.

This article will teach you how to help your child learn English in low-stress, fun ways. We’ll focus on strategies that won’t make them feel like they’re being forced to succeed, which can be very unhelpful when learning a language.

  1. Find English Versions of Their Favorite Books

You can help children learn English by getting them an English version of their favorite books, such as the popular Harry Potter series.

Reading will allow them to focus on the story instead of the vocabulary they’re learning. It will also make it easier for them to understand words in other languages.

Getting stuck in a foreign book can be very frustrating, especially if the misunderstanding leads to losing the plot. But, if the book is already well-known, it can be much easier to deal with. Another option is to encourage them to read a series already in English, as it can help them get hooked on the story.

  1. Learn Alongside Them

Trying to improve your English alongside the child may not be as encouraging as it should be if you’re already fluent. But, learning another language can be beneficial, as it will allow you to maintain the same level of progress and ensure that both of you are getting along well.

By comparing the structure and vocabulary of different languages, you can set the stage for a more competitive and fun language-learning experience.

  1. Use English for Easy, Straightforward Tasks

One of the most common tips that parents use when teaching their children English is to require them to speak it at certain times. This can be very stressful for the child, as it can make them feel like they’re being forced to succeed. Unfortunately, this approach can also lead to them developing a lack of vocabulary, which can prevent them from communicating effectively.

One of the most effective ways to lower the pressure is to use English for simple tasks. For example, if you’re going shopping, you can ask your child if they’d like to come. This type of statement can be easily understood by the child as it uses introductory vocabulary.

Simple and straightforward tasks can be simplified by using English. For example, you can communicate simple instructions that don’t require a response, such as “I’m going shopping” or “your grandma is coming.” These types of interactions are great because while it’s a limited range of vocabulary, it helps the child get into the habit of saying things in English.

  1. Switch Mobile Apps/Games to English

A great jumping-off point for some children learning English to switch mobile apps.

Although this method may not be ideal, switching some technology equipment to English is a low-pressure approach that can be easily implemented.

If your child is not a huge gamer, you can encourage them to use social media accounts or their mobile device in English (if they are confident that they will be able to handle it.)

  1. Don’t Worry About Mistakes

If you make it a point to tell your child about every mistake they make, they will never want to speak English. Self-consciousness is enemy number one when it comes to learning a new language. Pointing out every mistake is detrimental to their development.

If your child continues to make major mistakes, you should consider implementing an approach that involves picking up on one mistake every week. This method will help them improve without making them feel like they’re failing.

Originally published on Annittra Atler’s website.



Annittra Atler

Annittra Atler is the Associate Superintendent of Special Education for the Albuquerque Public Schools.