On the Road to English Fluency: A Useful Guide for Moms in Teaching Spoken English to Toddlers

On the Road to English Fluency: A Useful Guide for Moms in Teaching Spoken English to Toddlers

Toddlers can easily absorb any single English word even for those unheard vocabularies / Photo by Getty Images


Over time, teaching spoken English to toddlers has been a tough pill for millions of mothers to swallow because they are clueless about how and where to begin. They also hurdle the uncertainty of how they are supposed to represent themselves to get their toddler’s attention and to get them engaged in learning how to speak English.

According to Jennifer Zimmerman of the Living the Bump Parenting, “in terms of learning a language, toddlers are like natural sponges”. This means that they can easily absorb any single English word and their reservoir even for unheard vocabularies is ready to be filled at any level an enthusiastic mom might want to. In any case, the most important thing is to let the English lessons pretty easy to absorb and of course become a seamless, confident mother in beefing up your child’s English Speaking skills.

How and Where to Begin

Jo Blackmore of the Learn English Kids Team shares the idea that typically mothers do not know where to begin teaching because their English is likewise limited. Accordingly, he said that a mother’s enthusiasm is more than enough to initiate the learning process as such enthusiasm for the language radiates to the child. Mothers should also accept that teaching toddlers is a rather difficult task to handle, because if they act like a teacher or give them textbook activities - this will make kids get bored and much worse develop a fear of language. Better yet, experts have proven that studying English at home is incredibly easy if done with a motherly approach.

Make it a Habit, not a Task

Studies show that toddlers learn more if sessions are divided into frequent digestible chunks; thus, a fifteen minute English Time habit is advisable in strategic times of the day. Every minute can be made worthy if children enjoy and get engaged with the lessons. That is why the best motherly approach is to teach English through playing English games every day after napping or after feeding them. In this case, kids will develop the habit of expecting and getting ready for the next games to come. Some effective games for toddlers are “Bring Me”, “Touch the Color”, or “Making Animal Sounds”. Another approach is to read stories before bedtime, in this way your toddler will habitually listen to your stories and eventually become their own storyteller.

English Time for Daily Routines

The British Council proves that the best foundation of spoken English comes from the mother’s teaching prowess. The best way to learn the language is through using the everyday real life situations and real objects at home as teaching materials.

1. Teach simple English directions while fixing the kid’s toys, for instance, asking the questions “What’s inside your bag?” and “Where’s your ball?” or using simple commands like “Let’s get your big elephant.” “Let’s put this inside.”

2. Vocabulary can be well enhanced when you incorporate English in doing house chores together with your child. In this way kids will be well versed in the parts of the house, action words, describing words and the likes.

3. Polite expressions such as “Thank you”, “You’re welcome”, “I’m sorry” etc. are basically learned and practiced interactively with family members while performing activities of daily lives.

4. Different types of vehicles can be learned on the road while tracking the way to a grocery or to other destinations to do house errands.

Songs and Rhymes to Understand Meanings Through Actions

The GenEnglish experts suggest that songs with action engage the toddlers to join in even if they still cannot exactly sing along. They also tend to get overwhelming interest in the actions, in this way they are able to convey the meaning of certain words. It is best that mothers watch and sing with their toddlers to make the learning process more fun to them.

Play Together – Use English As Often As Possible

It is undeniable that games have by far achieved a universal positive approval in terms of educating toddlers. It is then a very good idea to play together in English, it is highly likely to strengthen and reinforce the things that mothers and toddlers learn together in the previously suggested ways. Pretend games are very ideal for this. For instance, mothers and toddlers can pretend to talk on the phone and exchange lines on English. Or, pretend like making dinner in the play kitchen and talk about food and cooking.

Be Prepared for Dead Air

Zimmerman’s very important concern is the dead air or the silent period which a toddler may undergo while learning the English language. This is the time when toddlers do not speak much for a certain period of time, as a matter of fact, it may even take months. According to research, this is inevitable, so mothers should not be desperate to force their toddlers to speak or to seek the help of a professional. What they need to do instead is to just sit back, relax and keep talking as usual. Patience is a virtue because soon the child will get used to it and speak English in the most natural sense.

Indeed there are countless and practical ways to make toddlers well-versed in the English language. Mothers should never forget that the best quality of learning begins at home. Teaching spoken English at an early age will make them more confident of themselves when they grow older. Most importantly, teaching spoken English cannot be done overnight. Still, practice makes perfect and every mother’s goal should be – “My child must be better today than yesterday.”


Songs with action entices toddlers to join even if they still cannot sing along / Photo by Getty Images