Teaching English to Children Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a polyglot from California and she kindly joined me on the podcast to discuss raising children in language-learning environment and what we can learn from them in our own learning. You can find her at Eurolinguiste.


  • 4:07 – Shannon’s Introduction
  • 6:47 – Where the interest in language came from
  • 8:23 – The relationship between music and language
  • 10:55 – The opportunities that language gives you
  • 14:46 – Encouraging children to learn a language
  • 19:29 – How to avoid talking in your native language
  • 23:30 – Problems with confusing two languages
  • 25:15 – What if children don’t want to learn?
  • 28:21 – As language learners, can we learn anything from children?
  • 33:00 – Practical tips for teaching children
  • 39:05 – Shannon’s embarrassing language mistake
  • 41:13 – Where to find Shannon

Key Takeaways

Learning with music is a great way to dive into the language and culture.

When teaching a language to young children, play is super important.

Incorporate language learning into play and everyday activities. Move away from traditional textbook learning.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, speaking and putting ourselves out there (be like children!)

Practical tips: Playing with children in English. Movies, books, music and video games in English. Getting an English-speaking nanny or helper. Finding immersion schools or local classes that use English. Find parents who speak English and arrange playdates.

Vocabulary & Expressions

  • Heritage Language (6:12) – A language from your ancestry or family’s history

  • To have something under your belt (15:16) – To have learnt something or had success that can help you in the future.

Resources Mentioned

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