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We are a multi-lingual family with Korean, French, and English language as our main one. You don’t need lesson plans to get young learners interested in learning a second language or practicing their mother tongue.  Using some of these speaking activities and other methods will help you and your child chit chat your way into greatness!

‍Communication skils are essential for success in today’s world. It is no longer enough to be fluent in one’s native language; children need to develop strong communication skills in English and other languages. By starting at a young age and incorporating fun activities, parents can help their children become proficient speakers and confident communicators.

In this blog post, we will explore a variety of speaking activities that parents, or teachers, can do with their kids to improve their communication skills and foster a love for languages, with any age group. 

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The Importance of Communication Skills in Early Childhood

During the early years, children’s brains are highly receptive to language learning. Introducing them to English and other languages at a young age can have numerous benefits:

1. Accelerated Language Learning

Young children have a remarkable ability to absorb new languages quickly. Their brains are wired to acquire language skills rapidly, making childhood the optimal time to introduce new languages.

2. Higher Proficiency

Research has shown that children who start learning English before the age of five often achieve higher proficiency levels compared to those who start later. They have a natural aptitude for language acquisition and can become more fluent than native speakers.

3. Gaining a Competitive Edge

By starting early, children can stay ahead of their peers in language learning. By the time others begin studying the language, these children will already have a strong foundation and a head start in their language abilities.

4. Boosting Confidence

Learning a new language from a young age helps children build confidence in their communication skills. They become comfortable expressing themselves in different languages, leading to enhanced self-esteem and a willingness to engage in conversations.

Best Way for Developing Communication Skills

Parents can create a language-rich environment and make language learning enjoyable by incorporating various activities into their daily routines. Here are 24 speaking activities that parents can do with their kids to enhance their communication skills and make language learning fun:

1. Story Time Adventures

Reading aloud to children is a great way to improve their listening and speaking skills. Choose age-appropriate books and engage them in discussions about the story, characters, and themes. Encourage them to ask questions and share their thoughts. I love reading to my son and wrote several articles on the benefits.

2. Language Treasure Hunt

Create a treasure hunt by hiding objects around the house and providing clues in English or the target language. As children search for hidden treasures, they will practice listening and following instructions, as well as using descriptive language to communicate with others. This is an exciting game that my son loves so much.

3. Fun Game with Rory’s Story Cubes

One the best speaking activities to start off with! Rory’s Story Cubes is a creative storytelling game that encourages children to think on their feet and use their imagination. Roll the dice with different pictures and ask your child to create a story based on the images. This activity enhances communication skills, vocabulary, and narrative abilities. This is a hilarious game to play with kids, and adults too. 

4. Go Fish Card Game with a Twist

Play the classic Go Fish card game, but add a language twist. Instead of asking for specific cards, players must ask for a card that fits a particular category or has a specific attribute. For example, “Do you have a card with an animal that starts with the letter ‘B’?”

This game promotes language development, critical thinking, and turn-taking skills. This was a favorite activity of ours for the past year or so. You can purchase visual Go Fish cards with countries and capitals as well. 

5. Tongue Twisters Galore

Challenge your child with tongue twisters in English or the target language. Start with simple ones and gradually increase the difficulty level. This activity helps improve pronunciation, fluency, and articulation. Check out my YouTube channel for inspiration!

“She sells seashells by the seashore. The shells she sells are surely seashells.”

6. Comic Strip Descriptions and Creations

Encourage your child to create their own comic strip using speech bubbles and illustrations. This activity promotes storytelling, creativity, and language expression. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the story and practice reading and speaking aloud.

7. Memory Games with Descriptions

Play memory games where your child has to describe the cards they flip over. For example, if they flip over a picture of an animal, they need to describe its characteristics, habitat, or behavior. These speaking activities enhance vocabulary, descriptive skills, and memory recall.

8. Short Message Relay

Create a relay race where children have to pass along a short message by whispering it to the next person. The final child must say the message out loud. This activity improves listening skills, concentration, and effective communication.

Family Talk Deck
Image: https://bestself.co/

9. Cooperation Game

Engage in cooperative games that require children to work together and communicate effectively. Activities like building a tower with blocks or solving a puzzle encourage collaboration, problem-solving, and verbal communication.

10. Pair Storytelling

Get a pair of students and have them take turns telling a story. One child starts the story with a sentence, and the other child continues it with another sentence. This activity enhances creativity, listening skills, and the ability to construct a narrative.

11. Guess the Word

Play a game of charades where children act out words or phrases without speaking. This activity promotes non-verbal communication, body language interpretation, and creativity.

12. Role-Play Scenarios

Create simple role-play scenarios where children can act out different situations, such as going to a restaurant or visiting the doctor. This activity improves language fluency, vocabulary, and social interaction skills. This is a fantastic game to learn sentence formation as well as build the child’s confidence. It’s important for your child to make eye contact and give him/her a time limit. 

13. Listening and Drawing

Read a short passage or describe a picture to your child, and ask them to draw what they hear or visualize. This activity enhances listening skills, comprehension, and the ability to follow instructions.

14. Memory Challenge

Present a tray with various objects, allow your child to observe them for a short period, then cover the tray and ask them to recall and describe as many objects as possible. This activity improves memory, observation skills, and descriptive abilities.

15. Go on a Language Adventure

Take your child on a language adventure by exploring different cultural activities, such as cooking international dishes together, learning traditional dances, or listening to music from different countries. This activity exposes children to diverse languages and cultures, fostering curiosity and language appreciation.

16. Word Association

Choose random nouns and have your child say the first word that comes to mind. Take turns building a chain of associated words. This game enhances vocabulary, quick thinking, and verbal fluency.

Kids drawing
Photo by Alan Rodriguez on Unsplash

17. Fun with Descriptive Drawings

Ask your child to draw a picture without revealing what they are drawing. Then, have them describe the drawing while others try to guess what it is. This activity improves descriptive skills, vocabulary, and oral communication.

18. Memory Challenge with Random Words

Give your child a list of random words and challenge them to memorize and recite the words in order. Increase the difficulty by adding more words or arranging them in a specific pattern. This activity enhances memory, the child’s ability to focus, and language retention.

19. Cooperative Story Writing

Start a story with a sentence, and have your child add the next sentence. Take turns building a collaborative story, encouraging creativity, imagination, and language expression.

Toy phone
Photo by Stephen Andrews on Unsplash

20. Role-Play Telephone Conversations

Create scenarios where your child can practice telephone conversations. They can pretend to make restaurant reservations, schedule playdates, or call a fictional character. This activity improves conversational skills, telephone etiquette, and confidence in speaking on the phone.

21. Reading and Retelling

After reading a story or a passage, give your child the daunting task of retelling the story in their own words. This activity enhances comprehension, summarizing skills, and oral communication. If you need some tips on How to Survive the First Week of Kindy, read on!

22. Memory Challenge with Go Fish

Play a variation of Go Fish where players have to remember the cards they have seen and ask for specific ones they remember. This activity improves memory, concentration, and strategic thinking.

23. Telling Jokes and Riddles

Share jokes and riddles with your child, encouraging them to understand the wordplay, humor, and punchlines. This activity promotes language comprehension, critical thinking, and effective delivery.

24. Fun Activities with ESL Board Games

Engage in various ESL board games that focus on language learning and communication skills. Games like Scrabble, Boggle, or Bananagrams promote vocabulary building, spelling, and word formation.

Conclusion

Developing strong communication skills in children is crucial for their academic, personal, and professional success. By engaging in fun speaking activities, parents can help their children become confident and proficient communicators in English and other languages.

Incorporate these speaking activities into your daily routines and watch your child’s language abilities flourish. There will be plenty of vocabulary mistakes on the way but hey it’s all about learning and having fun too. How about simply asking questions? Here is a huge list of things you could ask your child today!

 Remember, learning a new language is an exciting journey that can open doors to new opportunities and enrich your child’s life. So, let the educational journey begin!

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

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