La Tela di Carlotta
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5 apps to teach English to your kids —Part 1

Nov 6, 2015

We all know it, English—and languages in general—is so important, a key skill for current and future generations. It opens doors and it’s one of the biggest gifts we can give our children.

As a mother, my job is exactly that, to give a gift — possibly fun and entertaining — that my son will enjoy for the rest of his life (gift that my mother gave to me).

If I think as a teacher, though, I know that English is not always seen as a gift by children, and it often becomes a responsibility for parents. If you’re a private teacher, you’ll soon find out that parents are the true stars of all your lessons. They not only spend every day with your students (while you see them only a couple of times a week), they also review with them, make sure they do their homework, learn themselves in order to help their kids.

So when it comes to English, I like to share all I know with parents. So for the next five weeks I’ll be sharing my five favourite apps to teach (how to write) English while playing.

Work with Phonics!

I wrote about Jolly Phonics several times, but I’ll say it again. Work with the sounds of the letters (the phonemes), not their names—don’t teach the classic “aee, bee, see, dee”, but the sound that the letter makes in the word. Without the “ee” part, basically: when spelling “cat”, don’t say “sii-aee-tee”, but “k-a-t”. All the apps I work with use phonics.

This week's app is a must for getting started

It’s a great app to get familiar with phonics, to recognise letters alone or in words. All my students from 3 to 11 years old love it (and I caught parents playing with it as well ;-)  Here it is! {scroll up for pictures}

Phonics Match by Bram Van Damme:

Age: whenever they can use an iPad ;-)Price: $2.99

This is the best app to learn all the letter sounds (phonemes). It’s the typical “find the pairs” game where you have to pick two identical cards. Each card corresponds to an English phoneme (again, the sound of the letter, not its name) and each sound is associated to a word, so children also learn new vocabulary.

As I’m a true fangirl of the English language, I also like this app for another reason: you can choose between American, British or Australian accent. Getting used to different accents since a young age is essential to learn new languages, develop listening skills and reproduce different sounds.

All three levels are included in the app, so no extra in-app purchases. Triple fun!

In the next five weeks, I’ll share with you my favourite apps to teach kids written English. If you want to receive the next posts straight to your mail write your email address here and I’ll send them to you!

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