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  1. #1
    Donna Franco is offline Newbie
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    Question Children Speaking English

    Hi, I am a nanny and English teacher for a 6 year old Italian boy, I have been working with him for 6 months for 6 hours a week, his understanding of the language is good, he can count, knows colours, days of the week and so on, I am happy with his progress so far, however the problem is he will not demonstrate to his parents what he has been taught and refuses to speak English when they are with him, they are beginning to doubt that he knows even the basics of the language, please can you give any suggestions to help him/me overcome this, many thanks Donna

  2. #2
    English-coach's Avatar
    English-coach is offline Member
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    Default Re: Children Speaking English

    I don't know why but this idea just popped into my head. I would try to incorporate games where you record or video him. You could start by just having the camera in the room and then slowly get the video involved so you can capture him in English on video or audio.

    What to do with this?

    1) You can turn it into a game and watch yourselves speaking in English
    2) You can show his parents he does know more than he is letting on. Maybe if they watch the videos together he will stop being so shy or evasive about speaking in English infront of his parents.

    Be careful with this though. I work with adults so I am not sure how kids will react. He might love it...or hate it. Just an idea though.

    Hope that helps!
    Diana
    LEARN ENGLISH BY USING IT: ANSWERS & MOTIVATION FOR ANY ENGLISH LEARNER

  3. #3
    Donna Franco is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Children Speaking English

    Quote Originally Posted by English-coach View Post
    I don't know why but this idea just popped into my head. I would try to incorporate games where you record or video him. You could start by just having the camera in the room and then slowly get the video involved so you can capture him in English on video or audio.

    What to do with this?

    1) You can turn it into a game and watch yourselves speaking in English
    2) You can show his parents he does know more than he is letting on. Maybe if they watch the videos together he will stop being so shy or evasive about speaking in English infront of his parents.

    Be careful with this though. I work with adults so I am not sure how kids will react. He might love it...or hate it. Just an idea though.

    Hope that helps!
    Diana
    LEARN ENGLISH BY USING IT: ANSWERS & MOTIVATION FOR ANY ENGLISH LEARNER
    Diana,

    Thanks very much for your idea, this is something I was thinking myself, but it would mean investing in a video camera, however I will keep this in mind as maybe a friend will have one I can use, I am considering asking the parents to arrive without his knowledge then perhaps they can capture him in action!!! I'm sure with time he will be showing off but just so frustrating for now.
    Best wishes Donna

  4. #4
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Children Speaking English

    If the boy speaks well, but not in front of his parents, why not record him secretly and play the tape to his parents?

    Is the boy going to school already? If he's not, perhaps he will be less shy in front of his parents once he starts.

  5. #5
    MaryTeacher is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Children Speaking English

    Hi-

    It's not unusual for children who speak (or are learning to speak) more than one language to have quite rigid rules about who they will speak to in what language. It doesn't surprise me that your student will not speak to his parents in English, as he speaks to them in his first language.

    I think respecting this is the best thing, and perhaps letting his parents quietly observe from a distance would give them the assurance they need that their son is learning. It would be good for them to know that their son's refusal to speak to them in a language other than his first language is very normal with children this age.

    Take care,
    Mary

  6. #6
    Donna Franco is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Children Speaking English

    Thanks again for you help!

    I have spoken to the parents and suggested that they be patient with their son and to try not to say "speak English with us" as this seems to be putting him off, like you have said Mary he will only speak with them in his first language.

    I have suggested that they join us for a few minutes at the end of the week, and to perhaps sit with him and look at his English book to encourage him to communicate with them, I realise now that this will take time and I have reasured the parents that he is doing very well and just to give him time.

    Best wishes
    Donna

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Children Speaking English

    let his parents speak english as well so that it won't be awkward for the boy to speak in english.

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