Question:How can my child speak proper fluent English?
Asked By : ShuQingggg
Words from the Expert:
I wish my son can speak proper fluent English at home with the right pronunciation and not Singlish. Unfortunately, he is not constantly exposed to such environment as he is not in international school and we as parents cannot speak exceptionally well too. Any way we can help him?
Seek The Company of Strong Language Models
Singlish does have its place in informal settings. But, if you want your son to improve his command of English and you are not a fluent or confident speaker of English yourself, then look for opportunities for him that immerse him in standard English. Seek the company of strong language models. This will help him absorb the language naturally and speak it more effectively. A good language role-model might be a relative, a friend or a nanny etc. This person can use quality storybooks to read to your child and engage him in standard English conversations.
Alternatively, you could enrol your son in classes that provide him with plenty of opportunities to hear and speak standard English. For example, Speech and Drama classes, Performing Arts classes and Reading and Writing classes. In addition, good quality audio CDs with stories and rhymes that are read aloud are useful learning tools. When played at home or while travelling in the car, they can help young children learn the natural rhythm of speech, as well as standard English pronunciation and how to use expressive language. If children are older, parents can encourage them to listen to quality news bulletins on Channel News Asia, the BBC or CNN for example. Again, listening to strong language models is a great way to help children hone their command of standard English.
Head of Programme Quality
Julia Gabriel Centre