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We understand that some students find the thought of having to practise languages at home in front of Parents / Carers toe-curlingly embarrassing. We also understand that for some parents, demonstrating half-remembered words from their GCSEs (or even O levels!) could be equally intimidating. The below are some suggestions as to how you can help get your child to become more proficient in the language(s) that they are studying.
· Little and Often. All the research shows that frequency of learning is crucial when acquiring another language. Just think back to when they were a baby and how often you would repeat key words to them. Sites such as memrise.com<http://memrise.com> have been developed by linguists to maximise language learning potential and as a parent, you may find it a useful tool to brush up on your own language learning – or even try a new language!
· Encourage them to use the language that they are learning at home. If you are lucky enough to be going abroad to one of the target language countries, then please use your child as the translator
· Help them to prepare for assessments (these will be posted on “Show my Homework”) by testing them on vocabulary. Vocabulary lists can be found in the booklets that are provided to students at the beginning of each module or on memrise.com<http://memrise.com>. If your child has a speaking test, why not play the role of the examiner?
· Try not to correct too much. The ultimate aim is communication and constant correction of pronunciation or grammar can become dispiriting
· Encourage them to watch foreign language versions of their favourite films / songs or even better to watch foreign films or listen to foreign language music. There is obviously a wealth of content on platforms such as YouTube. You could change the language option on computer games or social media pages
· Apps – there are some fantastic language learning apps available. Memrise is the school’s app of choice but you may also wish to go for duolingo, babbel, Mondly or any of the other apps that are available on the app store
· Websites – Why not join in a Kahoot with your child? – they should know all about this. There is also a wealth of websites out there for language learning, some of which are featured in the individual language pages of the Kingsdale Website. The BBC has some excellent content but those of a musical inclination might prefer lyricstraining.com<http://lyricstraining.com>. There is a good list of language learning websites here: https://www.thebalance.com/best-free-language-learning-websites-1357061
· Get your child to avoid the use of online translators when preparing pieces of extended writing. A teacher can usually spot the use of google translate within seconds and it doesn’t really help students to develop in their use of a language. Much better to use a website like wordreference.com<http://wordreference.com> to look up individual words or their notes / booklets from class.