Why should children watch T.V. in English?

Why should children watch T.V. in English?

In the world we live in, everyone understands that it is very important to be able to communicate in English. The most obvious reason for adults to learn English is to improve their job prospects, but what are the benefits of children learning English from a young age?
Why should children watch T.V. in English?
One of the main benefits of children learning English from a young age is to widen their career prospects later on in life. Being able to speak English allows people to work abroad and is also a great skill for moving up the hierarchy within their own country.

Many studies also show that learning another language from a young age has psychological benefits such as better critical thinking skills, a higher level of creativity and greater flexibility of the mind. The younger the child is when a second language is introduced, the better.

Different ways T.V. can help your children learn English

So now you know some of the benefits of learning another language from a very young age. How can you help your child learn English?

Read on to find out a simple and fun way of helping children learn English all from the comfort of their own home.

It’s a well known fact that kids love watching T.V.  They will whine and scream until you let them put on their favourite programme! So why not turn watching T.V. into something educational and useful for language acquisition?

To get this right you have to use a specific method. You have to have the T.V. in English ALL the time while the children are watching it (don’t worry, you can keep it in your native language for your much beloved series!). Children are clever and if they know that if they complain enough you will turn the T.V. back to their native language, then they will complain enough for you to do it! If you stick to your rules - only watching T.V. shows for kids in English - they will come to learn that that’s just the way it is. If possible, it’s best to have the T.V. in English from when children are born, that way there is no need to get used to it, it’s how it’s always been for them.

Peppa Pig will help your younger kids learn English

We’ve chosen two T.V. shows for kids that we’re sure they will love! The first series is Peppa Pig. Children below the age of around 6 will love this T.V. show! Maybe they will already have seen some of the episodes in their native language but that really doesn’t matter, it will probably be an advantage as they will already know some of the storylines. The programme is really simple, it’s about a small pig, her family and her other animal friends. The narrator speaks slowly and deliberately with a British accent and the storylines are typical events that children can relate to from their own experiences. Think episodes about a trip to the zoo or what to do when it’s raining! Not only is there a T.V. show but there are so many online activities, crafts, games and much more which revolve around the little pig to keep your little ones busy and interested whilst learning English. Your child will be hooked in no time and you’ll be wondering how you ever lived without Peppa Pig!

Spongebob is there when your children get a little older

The second of our two T.V. shows for kids that we think is great to learn English with is Spongebob Squarepants. This show is suitable for a slightly older age group - from around 5 years old to 10 or 11. The series is about a town under the sea full of sea creatures. The main character is a sea sponge and each episode follows what he’s up to with his sea creature friends and neighbours. The show is really silly, but that’s why kids will love it! While they are adapting to watching the T.V. in English, children won’t get bored because the show is full of visual humour too. There are even some exercises online for kids to do while watching Spongebob that will make the experience even more useful and fun!

Another idea to help your child learn English is to set aside a certain time a week for the whole family to watch a film in English. You could go to an original version cinema or choose one to watch at home. Show your children that you are also interested in watching movies or series in English and they will follow your lead. After watching a movie in English you could also think of a certain activity that links to it for you to do as a family together.

Watching T.V. shows and movies in English is a really good way for your children to get used to listening to English at home and a great complement to English classes. They will have fun and not even realising they’re studying!

This article was written by Katie Gyurkovits, an English teacher for kids and blogger at Break Into English.