How to Make Your Child an English-Speaker from Birth, Being a Non-Native Citizen

guest blog


Undoubtedly, parents want the best for their children. And that’s why almost every up-to-date adult wants his/her kid to know English, a global language that opens countless opportunities regardless of your origin and place of residence.

Some parents are really obsessed with the idea to start teaching their kids as early as possible. But is it that good to make your kid a bilingual from the very birth? Won’t your baby face troubles in this case?

In this article, I shed light on the problem of learning English depending on the age. Let’s face it: there’s no exact answer to the question of when to start teaching English. However, I’ll consider two options along with their pros and cons. And since you know your child well, I’m sure you’ll be able to decide which of these options suits you.

#1 As Early as Possible

Supporters of this theory say that children from birth to 5-6 years easily learn any language. As kids learn their native language naturally, they can also master any foreign one.

The advantages:

  • Unconscious learning. Kids learn English as a native language; that is, they just passively listen and then reproduce the words and phrases in their speech.
  • The kid is not afraid to speak. At an early age, a child s less afraid to fail than an adult so that he/she boldly uses the studied language. Kids don’t have to overcome the language barrier because they feel themselves free and do not have complexes.
  • Good memory. There is a theory that under-5 children’s language learning abilities are above average because they faster memorise words and phrases. They just repeat everything they hear!
  • Clear speech. It is believed that the child is easier to learn the correct speech because the imitative abilities are at an advanced level.

The disadvantages:

  • The need of immersion. A “natural” way of teaching is possible only if the child is among native speakers. That is, the kid must daily hear the English language from others. This is possible if he/she lives abroad, or at least one of the parents or a babysitter speaks English.
  • The risk of mechanical studying. At the early age, the kid’s native skills are poor so that he/she pronounces sentence automatically, no really understanding the connection between words. Rote memorisation is far from being the most effective method of language learning.
  • Lack of motivation. As the child learns while playing, you need to adjust the conditions accordingly. You’ll have to find a teacher who will be able to teach the child through play and instil him a love of language learning.

So, teaching the child from birth is the best choice if:

  • You are living or going to live in an English-speaking country.
  • At least one person in the family is a native speaker (or fluent in English).
  • You know how to teach in an unobtrusive and interesting manner or find a tutor who knows how to do it

guest blog 2


#2 At the Age of 7 or Later

Proponents of this view believe that foreign languages should be taught in conscious age, not to torment the kid with incomprehensible words. If the child is not in an English-speaking country and his/her parents do not speak English as often as the native language, there’s no point to start the teaching process earlier that at the age of 7.


The advantages:

  • Children get used to learning. At the age of 7, most kids are already gets used to the regime as they go to school. Children become more organised and able to learn, do homework, listen to teachers, etc.
  • Children are already fluent in their native language. School-age children have a wide vocabulary and a good command of their native languages. For example, the child understands that it is necessary to greet and introduce himself when meeting a stranger, etc. The words that the kid knows in his/her native language won’t confuse him in English.
  • Correct spelling. 7-years-old kids won’t be confused with English spelling. Moreover, at this age, most children still have good phonemic abilities so that they can quickly and correctly pronounce the sounds of foreign speech.
  • Children are easier to motivate. At this age, children acquire their first hobbies and interests, so you can offer your child an exciting “bonus” for which he will have to learn the language. Watch cartoons in the original, read interesting tales and stories, play online games in English!
  • No difficulties in overcoming the language barrier. Children are still not afraid to make mistakes; they are willing to have a dialogue with the teacher and don’t too much care about the accent. That is, at the age of 7, you will have time to prevent the emergence of the language barrier.

The disadvantages:

  • It is more difficult to remember new words. Compared to toddlers, children over 7 harder remember new words. On the other hand, at this age, the child learns everything consciously, that is, he understands the meaning of a particular word and how to use it.
  • Less time for language learning. Schoolchildren are always overloaded with large amounts of information, which leaves too little time for learning foreign languages.

If you are fluent in English and have a great desire to teach your child at home, you can try to deal with it without the help from the side. Although I can’t recommend this way of learning as the best for sure (because only an experienced teacher knows how and in what sequence to teach the material to make the lessons really effective), you still can succeed! With the parents, the kid will feel oneself more comfortable than with anyone else.


Lucy Adams is a blogger from buzz essay ( She’s an aspiring author who never refuses to cover intriguing and burning topics, regardless of their origin. Education, literature, marketing, business, psychology – whatever – if you have something exciting to suggest, Lucy will bring it to life!

New qualification launched to help address shortage of skilled Linguists in the public sector

16 February, 2017

New qualification launched to help address shortage of skilled Linguists in the public sector

The International School of Linguists (ISL) has launched a new qualification that will help to address the national shortage of skilled interpreters and translators servicing the public sector. Recognised by the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI) as meeting its registration criteria, the new ISL Diploma in Community Interpreting is expected to help 1,000 linguists to qualify over time.

The Ministry of Justice was the first to recognise the qualification, allowing interpreters to provide language support in courtrooms. The ISL Diploma in Community Interpreting is also recognised by all language service providers nationally.

Those who complete the qualification successfully can apply to register with NRPSI, and will be able to work with the various public services across the UK, including the National Probation Service, NHS, police, prisons and the Home Office.

The course can be started at any time and is completed online or in the classroom. It features a blend of practical and written assessments, one-to-one support with extra tutors, and can be conducted at a linguist’s own pace. Some linguists can qualify in as little as six months.

NRPSI Executive Director Stephen Bishop says: “We’ve been extremely rigorous in ensuring the ISL qualification, which has a number of innovative features, meets our standards.

“We currently have around 1,900 linguists on our Register. It is not enough. With the ever-increasing demand for qualified, accountable linguists, we need more interpreters to qualify and meet NRPSI’s registration criteria. We need all interpreters working with the public services to be appropriately skilled if we are to protect the public and ensure the smooth-running of those services. Qualifications like ISL’s new Diploma in Community Interpreting will help to achieve this.”

Robert Mynett, General Manager of ISL, says: “The public finds it difficult to understand how there could be such a shortage of interpreters in languages such as Polish, Romanian and Urdu. But until now, the only way to qualify for high level interpreting cases was through a one-off annual test and while around 800 linguists take that test each year, only a small percentage passes the test.”

Compare this to ISL’s new Diploma in Community Interpreting, which Mynett says is already “seeing a 90% pass rate. This is because the process is testing actual skills rather than the stress of exam rooms.”

Through ISL, interpreters can study online or in the classroom and specialise in specific services.  A lot of the focus is on the law and criminal and police terminology. It is a rigorous and in-depth programme that not only delivers a qualification, but also ensures that linguists are fully prepared for all scenarios.

For more information on the standards for high level interpreting or the approval for the qualification, visit


For further information or interview opportunities, please contact Robert Mynett, General Manager, on +44 (0)113 210 7457 or email

Notes to Editors

The International School of Linguists is a learning and development partner to Europe’s largest language services provider, thebigword, and provides a range of innovative and bespoke programmes to help improve access to training and qualifications while improving the standard of language education and support.

It is headquartered in Leeds, West Yorkshire, but provides language programmes online and in locations around the UK and the rest of the world.

It delivers a range of qualifications for linguists and also develops assessment programmes and training schemes for individual customers to ensure their language skills are of the highest standard.

For more information about the International School for Linguists, please visit













Robert Mynett, General Manager

Securing Work for Court Interpreting – Made Simple

Among the most exclusive and sought after work for interpreters are assignments for the courts and police. This work is varied, challenging, interesting and gives you a chance to make a huge difference to the lives of people in your community – making sure the British justice system is working.  

But how do you become eligible for this rewarding work? Tess Wilkinson of ISL explains…

Most of you will be aware that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has signed a new contract with thebigword to provide Face to Face, telephone and video interpreting services.

The MoJ has segmented the Interpreting assignments into 3 levels; Standard, Complex and Complex Written. These levels determine the complexity of work, Standard being straightforward assignments and Complex Written being the most complicated.

This means to secure assignments in sectors such as the Court and Police, you will need to have relevant experience and qualifications, and be entered on the Ministry of Justice Register.

Eligible Qualifications

There are a number of qualifications that make you eligible to work with the MoJ, including specific interpreting qualifications; Level 1-4 Certificates in Community Interpreting, the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) and the Level 6 Diploma in Community Interpreting (DCI).To make things a little simpler, the table below explains what ISL qualifications are eligible for which level of interpreting assignment.


Ministry of Justice Register

To work on assignments with the MoJ, you need to be on the register. To join, you need a relevant qualification, as above, and you will also need to register via thebigword.

To register with thebigword as an Interpreter you need to email your CV to If you don’t have an Interpreting CV or want professional help with improving your existing CV to make sure it stands out, browse our Interpreting CV Services here.

When you have completed thebigword on-boarding process, including completing some basic e-learning modules, you will be added to their register of interpreters and also to the MoJ register of Interpreters. At this point you are eligible to start receiving assignments.

Keep a look out for thebigword jobs here.

We hope that you find this post useful and if you wish to discuss your options further, please email the team at:

If you are looking to become an Interpreter or to further your Interpreting skills and abilities to increase your earning potential, you can browse our Interpreting qualifications here.