Are you a parent? A sibling? A grandparents perhaps? Childminder, teacher, homeschooler? Continue reading and you will find a gold mine of fun tips and tricks to help teach your child a new language.
The phrase “learning by doing” is very much a priority here and it applies to many things – languages is most definitely one of them. You can use things like flash cards that come in various languages like German, Spanish, Arabic and French to name a few, to create fun games for your child that are bound to entertain.
Many books even come with extra resources to help your child to learn. Look out for books that have Spanish Flashcards as part of the series. You can then use these to recap the words you have learnt later on.
I know, when you think of fun things to do, chores aren’t usually anywhere on that list, right? However they can becoming something fun when you do them together with your children and you can use the opportunity to introduce a few new words.
Patton Tabors released a book called “One Child, Two Languages” and he reported that speaking a running commentary in a second language is a brilliant way to include and immerse a child in that language. Speak out loud your daily routines and chores or activities as you are doing them. For example, if you are making dinner, have a running commentary of the actions you are doing like “I am opening the refrigerator” and “I am walking to the cupboard.” By watching you do this, your child will pick up these cues through association of the specific activity with the vocabulary.
Use child-friendly language learning software and apps
There are so many programs and apps out there that are designed to help children become completely immersed in another language. Many blogs recommend a program called Early Lingo, which offers online classes in French, Arabic, Spanish and Japanese amongst other languages. Other options that you can look into are Gus on the Go and Little Pim.
Storytime in language number two
A brilliant way to expose your child to another language is by reading out loud. Books open up a whole new word to children and improve their vocabulary almost without effort – they’re also a great way to spend some quality time with your child.
Of course you can read to your children anytime, almost anywhere! However, why not research a structured storytime at your nearest bookstore or local library? I guarantee you would be surprised how many of them offer story time in different languages!
If none exist locally to you, why not suggest one? You could even volunteer to head it up yourself if there are no bilingual librarians.
Another proven way to improve and enrich your child’s vocabulary in your second chosen language is, of course, music. Along with books, you can take music with you almost everywhere. You could be listening to a CD in the car or just singing as you walk down the road.
Many children adore music and find it quite easy to learn the lyrics to songs – especially because they are able to listen over and over again. Songs that are aimed at children are designed to be catchy and they’re likely to get you all dancing!