Ten Fun Ways to Thrive in English This Summer

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Students need time to unwind over the summer (especially after the year we have all had), but it is also important to make sure they do not fall victim to the six-week slide! Here are some suggestions of fun activities that will not keep your child tied to a desk for hours this summer, but help him/her keep their English skills sharp. 

  1. Watch a play – this does not have to be live at the theatre (although how lovely would it be if theatres were up and running again this summer?) The Globe Player, RSC and National Theatre all have services where you can access recordings of plays. Reading a play can be very hard work – after all, this is not how we were ever meant to access the text. Watching a play will only take an hour or two and can be of just as much value to students. 
  2. Spend ten minutes a day on a reputable news website or app (BBC News, Guardian, Telegraph, The Times, The Independent are good suggestions). Your child can read whatever he/she wishes on the site, but they have to be on there for at least ten minutes! 
  3. Write a journal entry – the important thing with journaling is that students understand that it really does not matter what they write. The key is to engage with the act of writing as a way of releasing thoughts and feelings. Here are a few journaling prompt suggestions: 
  1. What one thing about the world would you change right now?
  2. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
  3. If you had a time machine, where would you go?
  4. If you could write to your ten year old self, what would you say?
  5. What is the best mistake you ever made?
  1. Write a blog post on a topic that interests you – many students love making use of modern technology in their English studies, and arguably, blogging is the most relevant form of writing for many of them today. The key here is they pick whatever they are most interested in, they need to enjoy it! If they are feeling brave, they can publish it, but they can also keep it just for them. 
  2. Subscribe to a Word of the Day service to improve your vocabulary – many students know they need to improve their vocabulary, but they do not know how to. Many websites offer this service where they can get a word emailed or texted to them each day. They can then challenge themselves to use the word at some point during the day! 
  3. Read a biography/autobiography of someone you admire – it is quite common for students, especially boys, to prefer non-fiction to fiction. Biographies and autobiographies are a good way to engage a reluctant reader. Get your child to think about who they admire and then have a look to see if there is a suitable text about this person. It does not matter if it is a popstar or a politician – the important thing is reading something they will enjoy! 
  4. Watch a film or television series you have not seen before. This may seem like a surprising one to have on the list, but film and good quality television can be just as effective as reading at teaching students the fundamentals of narrative and character development. Furthermore, they can be a good source of ideas for students’ own creative writing. 
  5. Write an extra scene that you think should be included in the film you watched – a fun way to use number seven as a source of creative inspiration! 
  6. Write a review of the film/television series – as well as creative writing, it is also a good opportunity to practice transactional writing skills. 
  7. Play a game of Shakespearian Insults – make it a mission to use the insult as many times as possible over the summer! To access the generator, click here

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