9 Classics that will help Children Learn English Naturally

October 14, 2016
14 October 2016,

Want to see your children learn English at a young age and speak fluently? If you are a non-native English speaker/user but want your children to learn English early, you must expose them to reading and using the English language at a young age. The best time to learn English is when you are young and when your brain is still growing, and reading is a great exercise to acquire a new language. Reading for pleasure is a fantastic way to improve both vocabulary and sentence construction in English.  Depending on the level your child is at, it may be most helpful to read books that are aimed at native English-speaking children, as they are more simply written with clear plots and appropriate vocabulary words.

Here are 9 classic books that will help your children learn English naturally and effortlessly

The Phantom Tollbooth

You couldn’t ask for a better example of a book designed to help children learn English while also telling a story. Milo drives his toy car through a toy tollbooth and winds up in the Kingdom of Wisdom, where he begins a quest to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason.

Along the way he meets many interesting characters and unwittingly illustrates the meaning of many common English idioms, such as jumping to conclusions, eating your words, being in the doldrums, and knowing that something goes without saying. He also meets physical representations of homonyms such as the Which and the Whether Man. The result of his journey is that he learns the value of learning and how to think for himself.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass

This two-book series also follows the main character into a land of odd occurrences and wordplay. In the first book, Alice follows a white rabbit down a hole and falls into an adventure involving many odd characters such as the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, and the Mad Hatter.

In the second book, Alice steps through a “looking-glass” (mirror) into the world she sees reflected in it. This world is structured like a game of chess, with Alice undergoing challenges in order to attain the rank of Queen.

Both books extensively draw from nursery rhymes and introduce several language concepts such as portmanteau words (combining two words to make one that accurately describes a single thing, such as coatrack).

Anne of Green Gables

This Canadian classic tells the story of Anne Shirley, a red-haired orphan who at age eleven is sent to be adopted by a brother and sister who actually wanted a boy to help them with their farm work. Anne is intelligent and extremely talkative, and loves to read and imagine things. Anne’s adventures are funny and universally appealing, such as accidentally dyeing her hair green instead of black or mixing medicine instead of baking powder into a cake.

Want to help your children learn English while having fun? Anne of Green Gables is a classic you should read to them.

How to teach your children English

Charlotte’s Web

Tells the tale of Wilbur, a pig who is raised by farm girl Fern and saved from slaughter by his friend the spider Charlotte, who weaves words into her web that bring Wilbur fame and make him more valuable as a show animal than as bacon. The book provides an overview of life on a farm and deals with real-world issues such as the death of a friend.

Stuart Little

Written by the same author as Charlotte’s Web, tells the tale of another amazing animal: Stuart, a mouse born into a human family and raised as one of their children. He has many adventures, including racing in a toy sailboat in the pond at New York City’s Central Park, and driving a motorized toy car, as well as numerous escapes from the family cat, Snowbell.

Peter and Wendy

Is the book version of the beloved British children’s play Peter Pan. In the book, Peter is a young boy who never grows up. He can fly, and spends his life having adventures in Neverland with his gang of “lost boys.” Peter meets Wendy during a visit to the real world and she and her brothers fly away with him to have an adventure. They return to the real world eventually and bid farewell to Peter.

Beezus and Ramona

Is the first in a series of books about young Ramona Quimby, who is forever getting into trouble and having crazy adventures. Beezus (Beatrice, as mispronounced by Ramona) is the exasperated older sister who tries to learn patience with her sibling’s antics.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

is of course the book that the movie was based on, and is the first in a series of novels set in the Land of Oz. This book follows Dorothy as she is swept up by a tornado and set down in Oz along with her dog Toto. There she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion as well as some witches both good and bad.

Reading these classics will help your children learn English in an organic, effortless manner. They will get exposed to new vocabulary and sentence structures that will help them become more fluent in English as they grow older. All of these books are suitable for the advanced beginner or intermediate English student, although some of the stories are more complex than others. Well-written and engaging, their plots are sure to provide inspiration for Conversational Practice Lessons with your Skype English teacher, if you decide to enroll your child in the Spoken English Practice program. You can learn about our unique teaching method here.

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*Children Learn English