Do you wish to introduce your youngster to a new language? There's a growing need for people to learn a second language all across the globe.
Incorporating a foreign language into your child's normal schedule will have various cognitive and social benefits, whether it's so she can Skype with a grandma in Taiwan or so she can watch "Amélie" without subtitles.
There are many advantages to being bilingual, so it's no surprise that many parents are attempting to teach their children a second language. However, not everyone is aware of the optimal strategy.
When a parent is fluent in more than one language, they are in a prime position to pass that knowledge on to their child. Raising children in two languages can be accomplished in a variety of ways. The perfect baby nursery starts with our curated selection of premium baby goods.
However, if you're a parent and you don't speak any other languages, it can be difficult to teach your child an foreign language.
The Benefits of Learning a Language When You're Young
Learning a second language has useful ramifications even at a young age. Language learning has benefits at any age, even for toddlers. A certain developmental milestone must be reached before language acquisition becomes effective.
Although the initial essential phase for language acquisition occurs between the ages of six and twelve months, by age seven, children are already capable of rapid linguistic development, making them excellent candidates for teaching them a second language.
During this time, infants are developing their ability to listen to and identify phonemes, the building blocks of language.
A child's brain can be trained to distinguish linguistic sounds that are difficult for a non-native speaker to perceive or articulate by introducing them to a second language at this formative age.
There are several advantages to beginning your child's education in a second language at an early age.
Develop your ability to think critically and solve problems, and reach important developmental milestones earlier.
Ability to think outside the box and solve problems
Numerous studies have shown that learning a second language helps youngsters develop their imagination and ability to solve problems. Creativity flourishes in bilingual children. A multilingual youngster is more likely to respond with more than one solution to the question, "How many ways could you utilise an empty water bottle?" for example, "Fill it with sand or make it a paperweight." That's because kids who learn a second language are more likely to have "open minds."
The First Steps Toward Success
When compared to their monolingual peers, children who have learned a second language may advance through the stages of development more quickly. Children that learn a second language do so at an earlier age than their monolingual peers, on average by roughly eight months.
Understanding that an object still exists even when it is not seen is an important step in a child's cognitive development. The idea that the same thing can have various names may help explain why youngsters who are exposed to a foreign language develop this skill earlier.
There are many approaches you might take once you've decided to introduce a second language to your child.
You'll find below a variety of approaches to teaching a child a foreign language, including five tactics for monolingual parents and carers and several options if you or other members of your household are fluent in a foreign language.
Steps to Teach Your Child a Foreign Language
Start Teaching It Young
When trying to teach your child a new language, it's best to get started as early as possible. If your kid is young or old, get started right away.
The ability to pick up a second language is so strong that even infants can be exposed to them from birth.
There is some debate about whether or not there is a "Critical Period" in which a child's receptiveness to a second language is particularly high.
That doesn't rule out language learning at a later age. This could simply indicate that they have different information, or it could indicate that the task is more complicated than initially thought.
Your child's future success in learning a second language depends on starting early.
Get back to the fundamentals.
Although you may not be fluent in the target language, you still have the opportunity to pass on your knowledge to others. Get started with the fundamentals. Children can develop an ear for the tones of a language just by hearing it spoken.
Together, you can study the alphabet, practise counting, learn new songs, and study the rainbow. Engage in friendly competition. Put labels on household items and use them for target practise.
Play music in the background all the time, and soon your youngster will be bopping along and singing the lyrics in the target language you're trying to teach him or her.
Doing things together that your kid enjoys is a great way to encourage language development and make learning the language fun. When kids are having a good time, they tend to retain more of what they learn.
Utilize your time spent together playing games or doing art projects to teach each other new words and phrases.
Utilize Materials Intended for Use in Other Languages
You can't do it alone when trying to teach your child a new language. Check out the many online resources for learning a new language, including books, apps, courses, games, and activities.
Put screen time to good use by showing your kid foreign-language versions of their favourite cartoons and shows.
On Bilingual Kidspot, you'll find a wealth of tools to help you teach your child over 15 languages.
Make an Effort to Get Help From Without
When you don't have fluency in a second language, it can help to have someone else translate for you.
Try enrolling in a local foreign language course or language immersion programme. Even if you are able just commit to lessons once or twice a week, they will be extremely beneficial. Only with sufficient exposure and resources will learning another language be successful.
Look for Ways to Use the Target Language in Everyday Situations
While formal instruction, study groups, and supplementary resources can lay a solid groundwork for language acquisition, additional opportunities for practise are necessary for true mastery. It's not enough to just pay attention to language or read books. Learning a language requires exposure and practise, especially for young learners.
You can help your child develop their language skills by hiring a multilingual babysitter or even by hosting an exchange student. Your child will benefit much from exposure to a native speaker in a natural setting, where they will have ample opportunity to practise what they are learning. Participate in activities with native speakers or take vacations to locations where its language is spoken to increase your child's exposure.
Help your kid develop their writing abilities and expose them to a new culture by pairing them up with a pen buddy overseas. Simply said, surround yourself with native speakers of the language the child is learning as much as possible.
The process will not be quick or simple. On the other hand, the gift of a second language to your child is one that can be treasured for a lifetime.
What You Can Do as a Parent in a Bilingual or Multilingual Home
Reinforcing a child's native language can also be used to teach them a second language. Your child will acquire greater fluency in the second language if you use it regularly at home. "Language among early children is captured rather than taught," states Colin Baker in the leaflet Parents' and Parents' Guide to Bilingualism.
Here are five ways to help your youngster learn a new language at home.
Use Repetition as a Teaching Tool.
Young minds pick up a second language through exposure and practise. This method can be used at home by performing an exercise in English and then repeating it a few days later in another language.
When creating an egg-carton train for the first time with your child, you might want to emphasise the English words for train, tire, egg, and other colours. You may repeat the exercise at a later time, only this time using a foreign language to explain yourself.
Make use of your body to emphasise points.
Children's language comprehension is enhanced when they are exposed to both spoken and nonspoken language.
Your child will learn and retain more of what you say if you accompany it with dramatic and animated facial expressions, physical demonstrations, and movement.
Here's your chance to see how well you do at improv comedy.
Create a Positive Learning Environment.
Students learning a second language must be encouraged and helped to participate in group activities. When communicating with children who are having difficulty doing so, parents and teachers can assist by providing a suggestion (e.g., "Ask your sister, 'Can I have the scissors, please?') and asking open-ended questions (those that begin with why or how) to encourage more detailed explanations. Trying to choose the most suitable playroom furniture for your infant? No need to keep looking. I've got you covered with my baby's nursery.
Interactive exercises are an effective method of education.
Providing experience which are both cognitively taxing and content-rich is difficult when teaching a new language.
Language learning methods like flipping over flashcards are too simplistic.
Rather than only exposing your youngster to language through facile repetition, you should instead create cognitively engaging tasks.
Incorporating a discussion of weather terminology with a science project to create a rainbow is just one example.
Get the Game Story Straight.
Immersing a child in a foreign language through a running commentary is an effective strategy.
Describe what you're doing as you're doing it in a foreign language.
Make a running commentary of everything you do while cooking dinner, like "I am heading to the refrigerator" and "I am slicing an onion." Your kid will learn new words by associating them with fun things to do.
Options for Parents Raising a Child in a Monolingual Household
When you know another language, it's much simpler to include language study into your life.
But even monolingual parents can successfully educate their young children a second language. We will discuss five strategies that may be useful to you.
Introduce your kid to a local speaker.
Patricia Kuhl investigated the impact of early exposure to Mandarin Chinese on nine-month-old children's phonetic acquisition in her study "Foreign-Language Knowledge in Infancy: Effects of Having Been exposed and Social Interaction on Phonetic Learning."
Socially exposed youngsters to Mandarin exhibited the same degree of phonetic retention of Taiwanese sounds as infants reared in Taiwan for their entire lives after just 12 sessions. Conversely, babies who had only been taught to the language by audio or video did not make any significant linguistic advances.
In contrast to less dynamic mediums like voice tapes and DVDs, encounters with a live person supplied the youngsters with social cues that kept their attention.
Get in touch with a loved one, friend, neighbour, or carer who speaks another language and can spend time with your kid.
You can arrange for this individual to speak to your child during playdates or excursions, immersing them in the target language and helping them learn faster.
Obtain Content in a Foreign Language.
While in-person encounters are optimal for language learning, exposing your child to foreign language learning through audio and video media is a more practical choice. If you and your kid are interested in learning a new language, you might look for some family-friendly songs online. Try some kid-friendly language-learning software.
Many different programmes exist to assist young students in fully submerging themselves in a foreign language.
Language courses are available on SheKnows for a variety of languages. Little Pim and Gus out and About are two other possibilities that parents can consider.
Consider Participating in International Activities.
Let's say it's hard for you to discover locals who are fluent in the target language. In that scenario, you may choose to enrol your kid in a club or organisation where she can learn a new language outside of school. This could be scheduled classes with a teacher or spontaneous opportunities to interact with native speakers.
The Mommy Poppins website, for instance, has compiled a long list of musical and dance-based resources for teaching Spanish to kids.
Cooperate in Language Study!
It's possible to make this a group endeavour if you have some time and are all committed to studying the language. You can study a new language as an adult, and then teach it to your child by using a programme like Coursera or Rosetta Stone. This may be the most time-consuming option, but it will allow you or your child to grow closer as a result of your shared curiosity and experience.
When you make learning a new language a regular part of your kid's routine, you may see a boost in his or her linguistic and mental growth.
Teaching Your Child to Be Bilingual
There are a variety of approaches you can use to help your child learn a second language. It is possible to:
- Start off with a bilingual approach. Today, it is not uncommon for a youngster to acquire a second language during their formative years.
- Just stick to one language at home, please. When your kid starts school, he'll have the opportunity to pick up that second language.
- Your youngster will benefit greatly from hearing and using both languages throughout the day.
Learning More Than One Language
The multilingual child is a special individual. Your child's success in learning a second language will rely on how often and how effectively they practise. This section contains several fundamental principles:
- By the time they turn one, the vast majority of multilingual children have already begun to communicate. Most children have the ability to employ simple sentences of two words by the age of two. Words and phrases like "our ball" and "more juice" can appear in either language.
- Children are prone to combining grammar concepts on occasion. When speaking to one another, they could mix and match words from both languages. This happens naturally when learning a second language.
- When learning a new language, some kids may be more reserved than usual. During this "quiet time," the speaker may remain silent for a few weeks or longer. This is very normal and temporary.
Ways to Help Your Child Become Bilingual
You can share stories with your kid in both languages. All the literature you require is available in local and online bookshops, libraries, and the World Wide Web.
As a parent, you can use music to help your child learn a new language. Further, it has the potential to be really entertaining.
Tv and Videos.
There are numerous language options for kids' shows. Children learn the alphabet, basic spelling, colour recognition, and vocabulary from these shows.
Children can participate in language immersion camps or enrol in dual-language programmes at their local schools. With these, kids can interact with peers in two languages.
Talking With Your Child
Your kid could have problems communicating in both languages. So, use your native tongue when interacting with your kid. Even if your kid is learning a different set of words in school, you should still practise this.
If you are a good role model in terms of language use, you will equip your child with the tools necessary to acquire more languages. However, it is best to avoid any drastic changes to your child's regular schedule. That's a lot of pressure. In case you're in need of any baby-related items, be sure to check out our selection of nursery furnishings.
Keep in mind that it is common for children all around the world to acquire a command of more than one language. Learning a new language does not exacerbate existing speech or language disorders. Children who speak more than one language tend to progress normally in both languages.
The demand for bilingual individuals continues to rise. There are both academic and social advantages to exposing your child to a second language. When a person reaches a particular age, they are better able to learn a language. Children's verbal abilities can mature rapidly by the age of seven. Bilingual kids tend to be more imaginative.
It has been established that studying a second language helps kids expand their minds and problem-solving skills. When deciding how to teach a child a foreign language, there are numerous options to consider. Here are five strategies for monolingual parents and carers. An excellent method for fostering your child's linguistic growth is to engage in activities together that the child enjoys. Children are more likely to retain information while they are enjoying themselves. There are many books, apps, courses, games, and activities available online that can help you learn a new language.
Group work is important for students learning a second language, and teachers should actively encourage and facilitate their participation. Using the second language at home on a daily basis will help your child become more fluent in it. Hearing and seeing words together helps kids learn language faster. Parental monolingualism need not be an obstacle to raising multilingual offspring. Here are five methods that may help, as well as suggestions for incorporating language learning into your daily life and finding resources in a new tongue.
- Educating your child in a second language at a young age has several benefits.
- Improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills and advance more quickly in your personal development.
- Numerous methods for teaching a kid a second language are provided below, including five strategies for monolingual parents and carers and several alternatives if you or other members of your household are proficient in a foreign language.
- Starting early is crucial to your child's success in acquiring a second language.
- If you want to help your child develop their language skills and make learning the language enjoyable, doing things together that your child enjoys is a terrific way to do both.
- Explore the many books, apps, courses, games, and activities available online to help you learn a new language.
- Hiring a nanny who speaks multiple languages or hosting an exchange student are also great ways to encourage your child's language development.
- Matching your child with a pen pal in another country is a great way to encourage their growth as a writer and expand their horizons by learning about another culture.
- Teaching a child a second language can be as simple as helping them become more fluent in their first.
- If you want to assist your child learn a new language, here are five things you can do at home.
- A running commentary is an excellent way to immerse a child in a foreign language.
- Still, teaching a young child a second language can be accomplished even by monolingual parents.
- Share your culture with your child by introducing them to a native speaker.
- Although face-to-face interactions are ideal for language acquisition, it's more feasible to expose your child to a foreign language through audio and video media.
- The Importance of Language Learning and How to Teach Your Child to Speak Two Languages
- If you want to help your child acquire a second language, you can do so in a number of ways.
- Your child can enjoy bedtime readings in either language.
- Parents can facilitate their children's language acquisition through musical means.
FAQs About Foreign Language
Foreign languages expand one's view of the world, liberalize one's experiences, and make one more flexible and tolerant. Foreign languages expand one's world view and limit the barriers between people: barriers cause distrust and fear.
The study of foreign languages enhances listening skills and memory, increases analytical abilities, and builds aptitude in problem solving and working with abstract concepts. It has been shown to enhance the study of other subjects. Abilities in math and English increase, and creativity grows.
Learning a foreign language is one of the hardest things a brain can do. What makes a foreign language so difficult is the effort we have to make to transfer between linguistically complex structures. It's also challenging to learn how to think in another language. Above all, it takes time, hard work, and dedication.
One of the most obvious reasons people decide to learn a new language is that they want to be able to connect with other people who don't speak their native language.
Some of them want to improve their language skills, while others are eager to learn another one – the second or the third foreign language, and they do not feel any necessity for it, but they want to learn for pleasure or to spend the evening purposefully, to meet new people.