How Au Pair to Interact with and tutor Chinese Children
Introduce yourself. If you do not already know the child, make sure to tell them your name. Also, ask them for their name and age. If you show interest in them, it will make them respect you more. Be sure you don’t come across and if you’re interrogating them though; that can be daunting for some children.
Get down to their level. Don’t stand over them. It can be very scary to have someone towering over you. Kneel down so you are the same height as them. If you don’t fancy kneeling down every two seconds, find somewhere to sit near the child so you’re constantly at their level.
Ask them what they would like to do. If you decide to play a game with them that they does not like, they will not enjoy it. Try giving them the choice. This can backfire if you’re really not up to a game of hide and seek though. An alternative would be to show/tell them about two games and make them choose one. Activities could include:
- Playing tag or hide and seek
- Playing with action figures
- Reading stories
- Playing board games
- Watching a movie (age appropriate)
- Going out (E.g; to the park)
- Dancing to songs.
If you have been given an instruction from their parent/caregiver, make sure to do it. If the child does not want to, make it a game. For example, if their mother wants their room clean by the time she gets home, put on a song, and see if they can clean the room before the song ends. Make sure to reward them if they do it in time!
Don’t panic. If he gets too much of a handful or you feel like you can not handle him anymore, simply sit him down with a movie, so you have time to rest. Or you could try calming him down by reading him a story.
How to teach children to speak English from the beginning
The easiest time to learn a language is as a child. Children can use the abilities they are developing to acquire their native language to develop skills in other languages as well. English is a particularly useful language to teach a child, as it is commonly used as an international language throughout the world.
Hurrying young non-English-speaking children into reading English without ensuring adequate preparation is counterproductive.
Learning to speak English first contributes to children’s eventual fluency in English reading, because it provides a foundation to support subsequent learning about the alphabetic principle through an understanding of the sublexical structure of spoken English words and of the language and content of the material they are reading. The abilities to hear and reflect on the sublexical structure of spoken English words, as required for learning how the alphabetic principle works, depend on oral familiarity with the words being read. Similarly, learning to read for meaning depends on understanding the language and referents of the text to be read.
Moreover, because being able to read and write in two languages confers numerous intellectual, cultural, economic, and social benefits, bilingualism and biliteracy should be supported whenever possible. To the extent possible, non-English-speaking children should have opportunities to develop literacy skills in their home language as well as in English.
The aupair also needs to learn how to get along with Chinese family, Chinese people and Chinese children, as they will live with the family for a long time. They will have a true passion to take good care of Chinese child. It will be very beneficial to learn and understand Chinese culture. They need to have a true passion for Chinese culture including language, food, lifestyle, people etc. They need to be willing to learn Chinese culture via different ways. They need to be happy to adapt themselves to live with a Chinese family! They also need to be happy to take good care of Chinese children.
Many parents would like to teach their children English at home, but don’t know how to start. It doesn’t matter if your own English is not perfect. The most important thing is that you are enthusiastic and that you give your children lots of encouragement and praise. Your child will pick up on your enthusiasm for the language. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t start speaking English immediately. They will need a certain amount of time to absorb the language. Be patient, and they will begin to speak English in their own time.
Establishing a routine
Establish a routine for your English time at home. It is better to have short, frequent sessions than long, infrequent ones. Fifteen minutes is enough for very young children. You can gradually make sessions longer as your child gets older and their concentration span increases. Keep the activities short and varied in order to hold your child’s attention.
Try to do certain activities at the same time every day. Children feel more comfortable and confident when they know what to expect. For example, you could play an English game every day after school, or read an English story with your children before bedtime. If you have space at home, you can create an English corner where you keep anything connected to English, for example books, games, DVDs or things that your children have made. Repetition is essential – children often need to hear words and phrases many times before they feel ready to produce them themselves.
Children learn naturally when they are having fun. Flashcards are a great way to teach and revise vocabulary and there are many different games which you can play with flashcards, such as Memory, Kim’s game, Snap or Happy Families.
There are many other types of games you can play with your children to help them practise English.
Action games – for example Simon says, Charades, What’s the time Mr Wolf?
Board games – Snakes and ladders, other traditional games
Word games – e.g. I spy, Hangman
Online games – you could finish your English time with an online game from LearnEnglish Kids.
Using everyday situations
The advantage of teaching English at home is that you can use everyday situations and real objects from around the house to practise the language naturally and in context. For example:
Talk about clothes when your child is getting dressed, or when you are sorting laundry (‘Let’s put on your blue socks’, ‘It’s Dad’s T-shirt’, etc.).
Practise vocabulary for toys and furniture when you are helping your child to tidy their bedroom (‘Let’s put your teddy bear on the bed!’, ‘Where is the blue car?’).
Teach food vocabulary when you are cooking or going shopping. When you go to the supermarket, give your child a list of things to find (use pictures or words depending on their age). Revise the vocabulary when you put the shopping away at home.
Younger children love books with bright colours and attractive illustrations. Look at the pictures together and say the words as you point to the pictures. Later you can ask your child to point to different things, e.g. ‘Where’s the cat?’ After a while encourage them to say the words by asking ‘What’s that?’ Listening to stories will get your child used to the sounds and rhythms of English.
Older children can complete the accompanying downloadable activities to check understanding.
Songs are a really effective way to learn new words and improve pronunciation. Songs with actions are particularly good for very young children as they are able to join in even if they are not yet able to sing the song. The actions often demonstrate the meaning of the words in the song.
There are many fun, animated songs on Learn English. Kids which you can listen to with your children.
With younger children, there is no need to explicitly teach grammar rules, but instead get them used to hearing and using different grammatical structures in context, for example ‘have got’ when you are talking about someone’s appearance, or ‘must/mustn’t’ when talking about their school rules. Hearing the grammar being used in context from an early age will help your child to use it naturally and correctly when they are older.
For older children, you can use the grammar section. Videos, quizzes and games help kids to learn in a fun, relaxed way.
It can be very useful for older children to teach their siblings or other family members. Explaining how to use grammar to someone else helps you to master it yourself.
It is also important for your child to get used to ‘English time’ language, so use the same phrases with your child each time, e.g. ‘It’s English time! Let’s sit down. Which song shall we start with today?’ Children will soon pick up phrases such as please; thank you; Can I have …?; Where is …?; Point to …; What colour is it?; It’s …; I like …; I don’t like ….
Whatever your approach, the most important thing is to relax, have fun and make learning English an enjoyable experience for both you and your child.