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  • Writer's pictureGaila Cohen Morrison

Dear Gaila - How To Get Your Child To Speak More English (Part II)

Last week I raised different ideas to enrich your child's English by reading. This week I will discuss the talking:

Dear Gaila,

My oldest three children (out of five) just finished participating in the Readathon. It was really amazing, and I can tell already what a great boost it gave their reading and even to their English vocabulary. I myself am an English speaker, but my husband is a Hebrew speaker and we speak mainly Hebrew at home. I see now that my children really struggle with their English and have even expressed disappointment that I haven't spoken to them only in English. It's too late to change now, but I do want to help them speak and know more English. What things can I change?

Mother of Three Awesome Readathon Participants

Reading enriches language

Dear M.o.T.A.R.P.,

Hopefully you have already implemented my suggestions from last week and some English has already infiltrated into your children's consciousness. Now it's time for you to make some slight changes. While it's not feasible for you to start talking only English, you can start dispersing English in little chunks.

Start off by using nouns in English - "tavi li et ha-salt/salad/plate" (give me the X). Use nouns that you use often so they are exposed to the same word many times. Continue with very short phrases that, again, are repeated often: "supper is served!", "Good morning!". Even better, use similar phrases, such as: "time to eat", "time for bed", "time to brush teeth", etc. With time you will hopefully continue on to longer sentences and progress to verbs as well.

Good luck!


Gaila has almost 40 year of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns

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