To become fluent in English by Sonia Mendes - Online English Teacher

To become fluent in English

To become fluent in English

I would like to share with you my personal experience, as a mother of 2, a boy with 19 and a girl with 14 years old.

Both of them are fluent in English, and how did that happen? With exposure and motivation.


They had been exposed to English since they were born:

  • All Tv, movies, series that we watched were, and still are, in the original version
  • Music – we mostly consume American/British music
  • We bought them Interactive toys and games to learn simple words as they were starting to speak

This was the beginning of their exposure. Growing up they:

  • have started to play video games online
  • have started  to watch youtube
  • and as soon as they were able to watch Disney channel in English, they started to watch the original version with subtitles in Portuguese (currently they don’t need subtitles at all)

By then we had planted the seeds of motivation to learn English.

Luckily, my daughter had two great experiences before covid. In 2019 we have applied to receive a student from an interchange program and for a week we had a Romanian student living with us and in January 2020 she had been one week in Germany also in an interchange program. (This year she was supposed to be going to Greece but unfortunately covid didn’t allow it) These experiences were extremely important to improve her skills.

Fortunately, they also had the chance to travel to different countries where we talked in English.


The seeds that we have planted years ago are now transformed in beautiful trees, and nowadays both of them consume English every day. They watch youtube videos of their favorite topics, listen to podcasts, watch series, listen to music, surf on the net, they read articles of their favorite topics. What they like is not happening in Portugal but in the world so they have enough motivation to keep practicing daily.

They never attended to an English Academy and they have been having excellent grades in school.

This is the result of their dedication, focus and attitude throughout the years. Things are there, you as a father and mother, just need to put them in front of their eyes.


Not all parents have high levels of English but almost all have the tools and the possibility to put in place “a plan” to help them learning.

  • As they start crawling, show them objects and name them in English (simple words are easy to learn);
  • Babies love songs and images: there are hundreds of videos on youtube - English singsing is a great channel to introduce English to your children;
  • Interactive games and Toys – you can find in any toy store good options;
  • English sites for children  – you can find a wide range of options surfing in the net by "english for small children"
  • Apps – if you do a quick search on the app store under the name “English for kids” it will come up with a wide range of options – some of them are paid but there are also good options for free.
  • TV – as soon as possible they should listen to original versions of their favorite cartoons;
  • When they can read it’s time to introduce reading and writing in their life. Buy simple books and let them explore;
  • When going to the cinema try to watch the original version;
  • When possible take them on your trips;
  • If there are interchange programs in theirs schools apply for it.

Don’t forget the secret: exposure and motivation.

The more they get exposed the better results they will have.




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