Image via Freepik
Is the English language dying? Whilst it is considered the universal language, it doesn’t have the highest number of native speakers compared to Mandarin or Spanish. However, more than 60% of the content online is in English, and many countries include the English language in their syllabus.
Therefore, it’s vital for you to develop and improve your children’s English skills. Here are some unconventional methods to try:
#1 Play word games and make it a mini contest with prizes
Children love playing games and they’ll enjoy it even more when it’s done with some competitive spirit! It is also a great opportunity for you to bond with your children in the name of fun!
There are endless word games you can try out. Some classic ones include Scrabble, Quiddler, Pictionary and more. However, you can keep it completely digital by playing the app versions.
#2 Make a weekly challenge to use new big words several times a week
There are thousands of words outside of our daily vocabulary and it’s vital to instil these elaborate phrases at a young age so that children may get used to them. Parents can learn as well, so it’s a win-win situation.
Use the dictionary and thesaurus which are widely available online and free to use.
#3 Watch English shows and movies without any subtitles
Usually, people advise you to watch a show with subtitles to learn what they’re saying, but why not take a leap and do without the subs! It may be very challenging, but it’ll allow you to learn native English speakers’ tone, expressions and body language when speaking.
That way, you can pick it up like a native as well.
#4 Do a mini theatre play or movie re-enactment
Acting is a great way to learn the language as well. There’s no need for an elaborate Shakespearean play, though. You can just practice short performances or re-enact some of your children’s favourite movie scenes.
There’s no need for fancy outfits either. An ordinary towel around the neck can make a good cape, and a paper crown is good enough. Be creative! Teachers who perform it in school can broadcast the play to parents at home as well.
#5 Listen to podcasts…. or MAKE you own podcasts
There are so many platforms available today for you to listen to podcasts. You can find a suitable one based on your kids’ age range and interests.
If you want to take things further, why not try out Clubhouse? It is an app that acts as a live podcast or a private radio show.This app allows people to create their own ‘rooms’ where they can open it up to an audience. The best part is, anyone can do it! Why not you and your kids make your own too.
#6 Join essay and creative writing competitions
There are loads of cool competitions out there where you can get your kids to join and win some amazing prizes in the process. Some give out gadgets, vouchers and cash while some really unique ones give out a ‘full scholarship’ like the 8th Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition 2021!
This is a corporate social responsibility project by Sunway Group, Oxford and Cambridge Society Malaysia, Jeffrey Cheah Foundation and Sunway University to promote the English Language in all schools nationwide.
Image via Sunway
The Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition is open to secondary school students and teachers except for those using international syllabus:
Participants: Form 1 to Form 3 students
Word count: Minimum 200 and maximum 350
Topic: The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges of online learning throughout Malaysia. What could make this better?
Participants: Form 4 and Form 5 students
Word count: Minimum 500 and maximum 650
Topic: The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges of online learning throughout Malaysia. How could this be alleviated in the future?
Participants: Malaysian secondary school teachers
Word count: Minimum 1,000 and maximum 1,500
Topic: The challenges of online education throughout Malaysia. How could this be alleviated in the future?
Category A & B Prizes:
1st Prize: A full Sunway bursary, RM5,000 cash, 10,000 Sunway Pals Points, an award certificate and a trophy.
2nd Prize: RM15,000 Sunway bursary, RM3,000 cash, 10,000 Sunway Pals Points, an award certificate and a trophy.
3rd Prize: RM10,000 Sunway bursary, RM1,000 cash, 10,000 Sunway Pals Points, an award certificate and a trophy.
Consolation: RM5,000 Sunway bursary, RM500 cash, 10,000 Sunway Pals Points, an award certificate and a medal.
Category C Prizes:
Champion: Brand-new laptop and certificate of commendation.
Consolation: A token of appreciation and a certificate of commendation.
Each participant is allowed to submit one essay only. Winning entrants must show originality and flair, a link to academic standards and competent use of English as a written language, including proper spelling, grammar and punctuation.
You and/or your children can submit their entries through Sunway’s official portal by 31st March 2021, 1pm.
For more information, log on to www.sunway.com.my/essay/