English lessons change a lot when your teen moves into high school – they go from a focus on developing their English language skills to a focus on applying these skills to analyse texts. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what you can do to help. Here are our top tips to help you support your teen with High School English.
1. Take an interest
One of the best things you can do to support your teen with their English learning is to take an interest! Ask them about the texts they are looking at and whether they have any upcoming assignments. If your teen is working on their homework, ask them questions so they have an opportunity to share their learning with you. They will appreciate you taking the time to engage with their learning, and discussions with you will help them to think critically, analyse their texts and communicate their ideas.
2. Get organised
Encourage your teen to develop good study habits, like setting up a regular study routine. It can also be beneficial for your teen to make a homework and assignment schedule to help them keep track of what’s due and when. You can also help your teen to manage their time to complete assignments – talk to them about steps they will need to take to finish their assignments, encourage them to make a plan identifying each step and when they will complete them.
3. Let them read
Encourage your teen to read broadly and often – not just the books they have to read for school. By reading a wide variety of texts, your teen will learn about the world, build their vocabulary and develop their critical thinking skills. Reading will also help them to develop their writing skills, as they immerse themselves in language and develop a feel for language structures. Try to give your teen access to as many different texts as possible. Your local library is a great place to find interesting new books, magazines, newspapers or graphic novels – or anything your teen finds interesting!
4. Writing for fun
The more your teen writes, the more they will be able to experiment with language and develop their creative writing skills. Encourage them to write for enjoyment – perhaps they would like to keep a journal, write short stories or poems or start a blog. Even communicating with family and friends via email provides an opportunity to practise writing skills.
5. Talk with your teen’s teacher
If you are worried about your teen’s progress in English, or would like to know more about what they are doing in class, have a chat to their teacher. They will be able to provide you with information on what they are covering in class and give you some more suggestions of things you can do at home to support your teen’s English skills.