Tuesday, April 14, 2015

#IATEFL2015: Engaging parents in their children’s English language learning - Karen Saxby

When I started watching this session, I started taking notes, but then I found myself a bit lost trying to keep up. Everything Ms. Saxby said was so interesting that I just wanted to sit back and enjoy what was being presented! So I thought ok, I will not report about this, but it IS worth following! 
Then I saw the presentation PPT and to my relief, it was so detailed, that I could actually write something myself!

In the beginning of her session, Karen Saxby showed what she was going to talk about:

explore why parents might want or not want to engage in their child’s language learning
rethink why we learn languages and then …
using those thoughts, consider how teachers could encourage parents to engage more
look at ways in which parents can help their children
She then explained why might a parent want to get involved in their child's English learning:
- They might have ambition for their child (maybe grow up to be bilingual)
 - They might seek wider education (for example other subjects taught in the English language)
- They might want their child to be integrated to an English language community 
- Or they might just want to do fun activities with their children
She then went on to state the 4 essential roles of the parents and teachers:
information  direction  caring  energising
Unfortunately it is not possible either for the teacher or for the parent to cover all four roles simultaneously.
Some parents hesitate, because they are not sure of their English level, or they don't have the time, or they just think that other subjects are important. 
So we need to go back to the basics, to find ways to engage parents.
First of all we have to explain why we learn a foreign language:
- To say what we think
-To express our personality
- To learn about the world
- To listen and answer
- To connect with people
We learn a language not only to pass exams, but also to communicate and be confident about ourselves.
So in order to help, we, teachers have to give parents more information on what we are doing in the classroom, share ideas with them . remind them how helpful they can be. 
Karen Saxby then shared some fabulous activities and gave links and where we can find more information:
Cambridge English Language Assessment
1 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB1 2EU
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1223 553997
Fax: +44 (0)1223 553621
Keep up to date with what’s new via the website:
For important information about Cambridge English exams:
For more activities for parents and children, visit:

I borrowed a lot from the slides and you can find everything ( video and PPT) over here:


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