I have had a lot fun making this blog, and I have collected about 10,000 phrases from parents over the years. It’s really quite incredible to think how many parents are now introducing English to their children!
Two worries I hear from parents:
1. Parents often worry that their children will not develop normal Japanese skills as a result of their efforts to teach their child English. I think we have seen in the research, and through practice that this is not a problem. It is extremely unlikely that your child will be negatively affected in ANY way as a result of your efforts to teach English at home.
2. Another often heard concern is that a parent’s imperfect accent and grammar (broken English) will pass to their child. In answer to this, I would first say that this is nothing to worry about. If, as a result of your efforts, your child learns some vocabulary, simple grammar and can communicate simply in English, you are a success! If you limit your conversations, or English lessons to what you know, or read in a book, you will have no worries. Simply creating a positive attitude towards English is a marvelous achievement!
Native children make many mistakes in grammar and usage in the process of learning English. Eventually, all Japanese children will be exposed to grammar in school, and a great deal of English input through the media, CDs, DVDs, moves, etc. The work you put in to developing a liking for English and basic skills will have a strong influence on later learning.
Dr. Marshall Childs, former columnist for the Daily Yomiuri said that the incredible exposure Japanese children have to English by way of the media, etc will result in them developing better accents and grammar than their parents. While this has not been proven clearly in the research literature, it seems to make sense. In my school, over the past 6 years, I have seen many cases where small children speak better than their (English teaching) parents.
About 7 years ago, Kaori Ihara introduced me the idea of 英語で子育て, and now we have both written books about it. She has a huge mail magazine following, and continues to produce new materials for parents.
Henri Ojisan, is another author who has made a huge impact on the attitude towards this home-teaching method. His advice, books and songs (and blog) are used by many.
Still, we are noticing many many new blogs authored by parents who are teaching English to children by themselves. This is this great!!
Please continue your efforts, and write to me if you have questions about 英語で子育て.