How can I improve my child’s Primary English Abstract ideas?

Understanding abstract ideas in English can be a challenge for children, particularly in the early years of their education. The concept refers to ideas and terms that are complex and less tangible, which cannot be perceived through our five senses. Concepts like love, justice, equality, and freedom are examples of abstract ideas. Here’s a roadmap to foster an understanding of abstract ideas in your child’s English learning journey from Primary 1 to Primary 6.

Primary 1: At this stage, children are just beginning to grasp the fundamentals of the English language. Here, the focus should be on concrete ideas, such as naming objects or describing actions that can be seen or touched. However, you can plant the seeds for understanding abstract ideas by introducing simple abstract terms related to feelings, like happy, sad, angry, etc., in daily conversations or while reading stories. This can be an introductory phase to help them associate feelings and emotions, which are abstract ideas, with concrete situations or actions.

Primary 2: As their vocabulary expands, introduce more abstract terms through storytelling. Stories can be powerful tools to help children understand abstract concepts as they tend to make connections with the characters and situations in the story. Concepts like bravery, kindness, or friendship can be introduced through stories that weave these ideas into the narrative.

Primary 3: As their cognitive ability and understanding of the world develop, incorporate discussions about abstract concepts into their learning. Use real-world examples or current events to explain concepts like peace, war, or democracy. Encourage them to express their thoughts and opinions on these topics, promoting critical thinking.

Primary 4: As your child’s thinking becomes more complex, introduce activities that challenge their comprehension of abstract ideas. You can use metaphors, similes, or idiomatic expressions in English that involve abstract ideas. Explain to them the meaning behind these expressions and ask them to use these expressions in their writing or conversation.

Primary 5: At this stage, your child is ready to delve deeper into abstract ideas. Encourage them to read a wide range of genres, including fables, myths, and non-fiction. Discuss the underlying themes, morals, or lessons from these readings. This not only improves their comprehension skills but also helps them understand and appreciate abstract ideas in various contexts.

Primary 6: As they prepare for the PSLE, refine their understanding of abstract ideas by practicing with sample questions and past papers. It’s also the right time to discuss more advanced abstract concepts like philosophy, ethics, or theoretical science ideas. Ensure they can express their understanding of these abstract ideas coherently, both in writing and orally.

The growth in understanding abstract ideas in English is a progressive process. It requires consistent effort, appropriate guidance, and exposure to diverse learning resources. By incorporating abstract ideas into their English learning journey in a structured manner, you can ensure that they develop a deep understanding of these ideas over time.