Indian parents of today are known to be most anxious when it comes to their child's education. From putting them to the right English-medium schools at the earliest age to hiring the best tutors for them, they will leave no stone unturned.
But both the parent and the child experiences anxiety for different reasons. The child is often anxious about performing well in class and frequently end up underperforming due to this pressure that caused them to feel stressed out. On the other hand, the parents experience anxiety and frustration over their child's social state at school - whether they are paying enough attention in class, and if their teachers are impressed enough and satisfied with their conduct at class.
However, if your kid is well prepared for the initial stages of schooling that are key to a successful academic performance, and if you too are well aware of what and how much you should expect out of your child, then you can minimize this stress for both yourself and your little kid.
So to make learning English easier for your kid, we have come up with this article to prepare you with the tips and tricks and to get you ahead of this process, preparing you as to what you should be expecting in your kid's first five years of education at school. But first, it is important for you to be mindful of the simple fact that neither of your child or you will ever yield a fruitful result from pressure so instead let's make learning English a fun activity rather than a stressful task that needs to be overcome.
Kindergarten to Class I
At Kindergarten level, your kid has already been introduced with the 26 letters of the English alphabet and their phonetics. Now it is time for them to learn their application. They will be starting with the simplest words of each alphabet and break them into syllables until they finally learn to pronounce the word. Your kid will probably apply this technique to learn to pronounce every other word of each alphabet the same way. That is exactly how their primary teachers will teach them to pronounce words, and they will follow it throughout. The teachers will rigorously follow active books in the classroom and ask the parents of the children to do the same when helping and guiding their kids to do their homework and learning at home.
Class I to Class II
By the time your kid reaches class II, he or she will be able to recognize simple words and numbers and will also be familiar with basic punctuation. He or she will be taught bigger words with more letters that will also include more than three or even four syllables in a single word. They will also be exposed to the nursery rhymes that they were taught to memorize but now in reading. At this stage, the main focus will be on the spellings of these words that they had already learned to pronounce at their kindergarten. This is also the time when most of your kid's English skills will be developed. As most of your child's cognitive skills and functions begin to develop at this stage, his or her speaking will start being more fluent with each class.
Class II to Class III
When your kid reaches the third standard, along with the introduction of other important subjects like maths and science, and in many boards a second language, their English syllabus will advance too. Now if your child is learning English as their second language, then it will take them a little more effort in English because their primary medium of education would be something other than English. In most cases that would either be Hindi or the state language. Ideally, at this standard, your child should be introduced to small and simple phrases and rhymes or small poems, depending on the syllabus set by the school. There will also be included in very short stories in English during the end of the session before being promoted to the next standard. There will be simple exercises including fill in the blanks and simple straight questions which will teach your kid to increase his or her fluency by being able to read words that do not follow generic spelling rules.
Class III to Class IV
In class IV, your child English lessons will include longer stories that will most usually have moral lessons in them. The questions will also be comparatively more difficult and would require some thinking or analyzing as at this age, their analytical skills will be developing when they start beginning to logically reason. That's where their creativity will also be revealed in the answers. The teachers will mainly mark each individual student on the basis of the most creative way one has been able to compose an answer. They will also be practising grammar that will have an introduction to simple nouns, prepositions and adjectives. At this age, they will learn to apply those nouns and prepositions in their answers and compose the most accurate answers.
Class IV to V
At reaching class V, your child will be introduced to reading comprehension passages in their English grammar syllabus that is helpful in leading your kid for a better understanding of English Language. Unlike reading stories in English Literature which mainly focuses on the contents and morals of the story and how your child uses his or her imagination to come up with a creative answer to a question, comprehension passages will mainly focus on the composition of the answer and teachers will mark your kid on grammatical accuracy and formation of his or her answer.
Apart from literature stories and comprehension passages, you child's syllabus will also include short poems, sometimes just a fun one or sometimes with an important moral lesson, that he will need to memorize and also answer questions too. He or she will require to practice rigorous exercises as homework assignments daily. This is where you would require to help your child and be well prepared with his syllabus.
At the Nursery or Kindergarten level, there is little to no pressure of exams as such, and almost all the kids get promoted to the next standard without a formal examination process. They are mainly graded on their conduct in class - how much focus each kid has and how easily one is distracted.
But as they are promoted to the next level, namely class I, examinations are conducted on a half-yearly basis in most Indian school boards with little weekly unit tests here and there throughout the year. Weekly tests are mainly conducted to assess a student's focus in class, whether he or she is following what is going on in the class and if they are at par with the lessons being taught every week.
Promotions get stricter with the advancement of each class, and a student may be held back for not being able to meet up the minimum grade or mark requirements for being promoted to the next level.
Difficulties and Challenges
The most common challenge faced by a majority number of Indian kids while learning English is that English is not their mother tongue and is not adequately spoken at home. Most English medium schools have it as a compulsory rule to speak English at all times during class hours only except during their other language classes. While most schools strictly follow this regulation and have implemented it as a primary rule, other schools tend to take it easy on this. So it is important for you as a parent to make sure that you speak to your child in English occasionally or incorporate a few words or sentences of the language casually while speaking to him or guiding him. Or you can also get your kid extra help in speaking the language by making him attend Spoken English classes in case, you are not well versed with the language yourself. Being from different cultural backgrounds in India, it is understandable if your kid needs extra help with his English Speaking.
Duty as a Parent
As Indian parents, we ourselves struggle with pronunciations with certain English words so occasionally speaking to your child in English is important. Speaking more of the language will normally have him or her a better understanding of the language and will bring in the habit of speaking in that language more. But apart from speaking, if you can help your kid with the basic grammar practice at home on a regular basis, that will also benefit your child in numerous ways. Incorporating the language in his daily life chores will make this more of a habit for him than a task. That will also help reduce the pressure on your child's academic growth.