Help, My Child Hates the English Subject!
Does your child have a dislike for English? Do they get frustrated when they have to read or write? There are several reasons for disliking English, whether it’s due to them finding words boring or struggling to understand what they are reading. Let us delve into some of the reasons your child shies away from English.
1. Writing feels tedious to them
Sometimes, the idea of writing a composition for their English class can sound tedious. Not only do they have to write within a set time limit, they also have to brainstorm a plot. To students who do not have a strong foundation in English, this can seem daunting, which can then lead to a dislike for the English language in general.
2. Rules with exceptions in the English language
There are many specific tense and grammatical rules when it comes to the English language, and what makes this doubly hard to remember is the fact that there are exceptions to these rules. . For example, the plural form of “girl” is “girls”, but the plural form of “child” is “children” and not “childs”. This can be difficult to understand when compared to a linear subject such as Mathematics, where there is a specific set of formulas to be utilised to solve problems.
3. English can be confusing
There are certain aspects of the language that can leave students scratching their heads in confusion. For example, the words “you’re” and “your” are pronounced the same way but they do not mean the same thing. The same goes for “to” and “too”, and “bear” and “bare”. If the student does not have a strong grasp of the language, these nuances can be difficult to remember and understand.
4. Reading can feel boring
Reading is a significant part of the process when one is studying the English language. Teachers may assign a certain book to be read as part of homework. Older students may have Literature as part of their curriculum as well. However, some may be disinterested in the genre of the assigned book. Not every child has a love for reading too, especially if they would rather spend their time playing a video game or going on social media apps.
5. Difficulties with spelling
Spelling tests are a part of the curriculum, as that is one of the ways teachers can assess the student’s command of the language. However, as mentioned previously, there are words that sound the same. Some words are also not spelt the way you would expect it to be based on their pronunciation e.g. “chaos” and “facade”. It can be demotivating if a student makes the same spelling mistakes repeatedly, and can lead to frustration and a dislike for English.
The reasons given above are definitely not the only possible reasons your child may have a dislike for English. So how can parents help with this issue? Parents can:
Encourage their child to refer to the dictionary whenever they come across a word they do not understand. Praise your child when they put in the effort to find out the definitions of words they are not familiar with.
Celebrate big and small wins with your child, e.g. when they make improvements in their English tests and exams, or even when they get the spelling right for a word they have been spelling incorrectly.
Share what challenges the parents faced in school when it came to English class, and how they overcame them.
Search for interesting facts about the English language together to pique their interest, like this intriguing article with 35 interesting facts about the English language.
Encourage reading as a hobby e.g. by praising your child when they choose to read for fun. You may refer to our previous article for tips on how your child can learn to love reading.
To boost your child’s command of the English language, enrichment and tuition lessons can help them catch up if they are lagging behind in school. You can consider signing up for TWC’s engaging programmes where our nurturing teachers ensure students develop a genuine love for the language. Not only do we make classes fun, we equip our students with the skills and techniques to maximise exam scores as well! Speak with us to find out more.
The Language Doctors. “Why Is English Hard to Learn? 11 Reasons.” The Language Doctors, November 28, 2022. https://thelanguagedoctors.org/is-english-hard-to-learn/.
Rawe, Julie. “Reading Anxiety in Kids.” Understood, March 3, 2022. https://www.understood.org/en/articles/reading-anxiety-causes-help
Richards, Regina G. “Understanding Why Students Avoid Writing.” AdLit. Accessed January 18, 2023. https://www.adlit.org/topics/writing/understanding-why-students-avoid-writing