Every parent wants what’s best for their child, and speaking more than one language is definitely a huge advantage in life. It’s no wonder modern-day parents are trying to find the best methods to help their children learn at least one more language, other than their mother tongue.
But, the dilemma about what’s the best way to help them learn remains open.
Naturally, taking private language lessons is the first and most important step. But, there are other things parents can do to contribute to this process. Below, we’ll break down some of the simplest yet most effective ways to help your kid learn a foreign language. Just keep reading.
Play Around More
The typical classroom experience is there for the teacher to handle. Parents on the other hand should find fun and playful methods for exposing their kids to this new language as much as possible.
The best way to do it is through games, creative activities, and non-guided tutoring. That includes:
- coloring books
- memory games
- board games
- DIY activities
The important thing is that all of the materials are in the second language, as well as the instructions, or examples provided. The child will be encouraged to learn this new language without even being aware of what’s happening to their brain.
Children love to do the things their parents do, and you are the person they look up to the most. So, why not learn this language yourself?
You could study another language together and spend quality time improving your language skills. You can even make a part of your daily routine strictly in this second language. For instance, the ride home from school is reserved for speaking it. Also, you can use content translation and choose some interesting text or story that your kid likes. This way he can learn to write it while reading and comparing the translated text with the original text. Or the bedtime routine- or anything else you agree on.
Help Them Find a Penfriend
Having someone to talk to in this new language will also highly encourage and boost the process of acquiring language skills with your child. Helping them find a penfriend might just do the trick.
Earlier, a penfriend was someone you’d correspond with via letters. Today, your child can do so much more:
- send emails
- have video calls
- attend webinars together
- have virtual tours together
- play games together
There are so many fun activities that the two of them can do together while practicing both languages. This way, the learning process is adapted to their ages and their level of understanding, which is as ideal as it gets.
Find a Language Learning App
The good thing about being a modern-day parent is that there’s usually an app for all your potential problems or needs when it comes to helping your kids. In the case of language learning, there are dozens of apps you can choose to help your child learn.
If your child doesn’t have their own smartphone, you can offer yours for the sake of learning.
With a quality app such as Duolingo or Babbel, your kids will be able to work on:
Most of these apps use good app localization services, which means your child will be able to use them freely, no matter what their mother tongue is.
Watch a Cartoon or a TV Show
We know most parents try to keep their children away from the TV and have them focus on other creative activities in their leisure time. But, we also know that virtually all children watch at least some TV and that it’s hardly possible to keep them away from the screen 100%.
Since they’re already watching, why not make the most out of it and have them learn another language? You can do so by choosing one foreign-language cartoon or a children’s TV show that they can regularly follow.
As time goes by, and they get to know the characters and the context, they’ll be able to:
- understand more without the subtitles
- acquire language subconsciously
- learn new language-specific phrases
- memorize more new vocabulary
This combines reading and listening. These are two of the most valuable contributors to language proficiency and should take up 70% of your study time, according to statistics. Choose a cartoon or a TV show your kids will love watching and you’ll help them advance their language skills.
If you want to help your child learn a foreign language, you need to find a way to make this process fun and stress-free. Creating an enjoyable learning experience might be a challenge, but it’ll be worth it once you see how your child is upgrading their language skills.
Use the tips and tricks we’ve shared above to help your kid learn a foreign language without pressure, and enjoy every step of the way.
Carl Hill is a professional language tutor and a blogger. He blogs about bilingualism and the benefits of speaking more than one language. His goal is to encourage more people to try and learn a new language.
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