i‑Learner Education Centre

Steps to Success » Encouraging Children

How to Encourage Your Child to Use English Outside of School

A lot of my students simply view English as a classroom subject and I totally understand. I was just like them when I was in primary school. English was about having accurate grammar and spelling. Nevertheless, I eventually enjoyed using English and I am going to share some tips with you from my learning journey.


  1. Watching English TV Shows

My parents invited me to watch an English TV show, Castle, with them when I was 10 years old. I was immediately intrigued by the English accent of the main female character. As I got more and more into the show, I attempted to copy the main female character’s accent. I would even do roleplays with my family. Thus, it made me enjoy speaking in English a lot more on a daily basis. 


  1. Having a Penpal / Exchanging Diaries

If you have a friend who is moving to a foreign country, it is a great chance for your child to gain a pen pal. I was introduced to my penpal through my mum and we exchanged emails for over six years. Not only did I get to write English emails, I was also able to learn more about life overseas. Looking back on it, I am grateful that my mum allowed me to write to my penpal freely. She never restricted me in terms of the content and language, which made the entire process much more enjoyable.


Apart from writing to your penpals, your child can also exchange diaries with their teachers / friends. This is what I have been doing with some of my classes. I would sometimes share bits of my life, such as how my cats ruined my sleeping pattern the other day or I would give my students prompts like “What would you like to be when you grow up? Why?” My students have been eager to know about my daily life so they would go the extra mile to write to me. One thing to note if you are doing this with your child is to avoid over-correcting grammar. Instead, you could show them proper grammar structures through your writing and focus on building their vocabulary. 


English is such an amazing language and I hope that more children can enjoy the process of mastering it through the above steps!