Q: Hi, I am having a child who is 4 years old he is in junior KG. Recently the teacher complained that he does not talk in English nor does he understand it. In our house we talk in Hindi and English both. Since then we are trying to talk more in English as much as possible but at the same time I would like to know that are there any such classes or activity clubs where they teach English and how to behave, basically where they teach children to talk in English and also to learn manners so that he can be a better person in society. Please help.
A:However, you must understand that every child is different and so is their capacity and inclination to learn a new language.
What you must keep in mind at this juncture is not to pressurise your child into learning English so much that he starts to resent it and thus purposely chooses not to learn it. School is the best environment for a child to learn a foreign language and he will gradually pick it up when he sees children around him doing the same. In addition, at this age, your child is also learning many other skills that he will need to function in the society and thus language learning might have taken a back seat for now. Give your child time and encourage him whenever he tries to speak in English, even if it is grammatically wrong. Gently, correct him but do not scold or pester him to learn everything at the same time.
It would not be prudent to enrol your child in any personality building or manner teaching classes at this time since he is too young for that. A nurturing home and school environment is enough for him to be able to function well. In fact, teaching manners is usually the prerogative of the immediate family since the child learns whatever he sees around him. Be sure to act courteous and behave in a manner that you would want your son to behave. Remember, being proficient in English alone does not make your child a well adjusted individual within the society. Give the child time to grow and be patient and encouraging in the meanwhile.
In case the child has a problem with language in general, a speech therapist or a child psychologist may be consulted.