Does one’s parents’ level of interest in English affect their child’s English ability?

2017.11.02

The ability to speak and understand English is becoming more and more important for Japanese children.
Research shows that the amount Japanese parents get involved in their children’s English studies is very important. Just creating an English study environment at school is not enough to support English language learning. In this article, we will cover how much parents’ education is linked to their children’s English language learning.

Does one’s parents’ level of interest in English affect their child’s English ability?

Avoid Focusing on “Teaching” and Instead Make English Learning Fun

Many Japanese parents who want their children’s English to improve end up focusing on “teaching” them English. However, “teaching” is often ineffective with children around 6 years old. Focusing on “studying English” often puts children under pressure and causes children to dislike the language. So, what is a better way to encourage children to want to “study English” on their own?

Showing an interest in English yourself will help improve your child’s English ability

In families where parents watch TV a lot, children often end up watching more TV. This is because children often follow the behaviors of their parents without realizing it. So, if parents want their children to get in the habit of studying English it is important for them to become a role model and study English themselves. When children see that their parents are studying English, they are more likely to study English on their own. This is a great way to get children interested in learning English.

Encourage an interest in English rather than worrying about your child’s English level

As we wrote earlier, pressuring your child to learn English by teaching him/her vocabulary when he/she is not interested, may actually cause him/her to lose his/her motivation toward English learning. It is understandable that parents are worried whether their child will become fluent in English or not but parents must realize that it is the child who is the one who is learning not their parents. So parents should instead ask themselves what they should do to encourage their child to become interested in learning English. Learning English in a fun environment, like Mommy and Me classes, will help children realize that studying English can be enjoyable.

A parent’s English ability does not directly affect their child’s English skills. However, it is best for parents to show interest in English and encourage their children to become interested as well. If the whole family shows interest in English and learns together, children will be more motivated to learn on their own.

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