This is a guest post about helping your child learn a foreign language, written in collaboration with Emily Jones.
Learning a second language has become a priority for most people across the world, with more parents investing in exposing their children to a foreign language.
Undoubtedly, learning a foreign language has been proven to offer wide-ranging benefits to kids. These include improved imagination, enhanced communication skills, and strengthened brainpower.
Such exposure also enables a child to appreciate cultures from across different parts of the globe. However, while knowing a foreign language comes with numerous benefits to kids, not every parent understands the best way to go about it.
Here are five practical ways that parents can adopt to expose their kids to a foreign language:
Go for a language mobile app
With the increased growth of internet and smartphone technology, you can almost do anything with your phone at home. Today, you can learn a new language through an app at a click of a button. The good thing with exposing your child to a language app is that they learn at their own pace. They also start speaking the language from the beginning, and you also get to save money and time. Plus, language apps are also fun and interactive. There are many platforms available nowadays, for example one that has received great reviews is Babbel.
Learning a foreign language through entertainment
The entertainment industry has slowly transformed into one of the most commonly used media for learning different languages. For example, kids can easily learn a language by watching movies, cartoons, and TV shows. Fortunately, you can find suitable programmes for your child in whichever language you wish, including Hindi, Spanish, German, and French. Examples of Spanish TV shows suitable for kids include the Handy Manny and Pocoyo, and Coco.
Make learning a game and play with the kids
Language games help your child to learn a new language. But they also enhance their pronunciation, vocabulary, and spelling. Unknown to many, children consider a language to be enjoyable when the learning approach is fun-oriented. Examples of such games would be a Language Scavenger Hunt. Where you give your child a set of instructions in the language you want them to learn. The ‘Secret Word’ game is also a great way to expose your child to a foreign language.
Join a group and make it an opportunity to socialise
Taking your child through a theoretical class or course can be a great way to get them started with a foreign language. However, the best way to make your child a great foreign language speaker is by allowing them to socialise with other foreign speakers in the real world. For example, you can expose your child to a social skills group where children are taught to interact with their age-mates. Through such a group, your child will master the art of pronouncing certain phrases. As well as hear how native speakers go about specific vocabulary.
Host an Au Pair to help with a foreign language
Another ideal way to expose your child to a foreign language is by hosting an Au pair. An Au pair is basically a young person from a foreign country who becomes part of your family in taking care of your children. Au pairs play an essential role in helping your child to improve their language skills. The good thing with going for this option is that Au pairs are native speakers. And their language significantly differs from that spoken in your country. Continuous interaction with an Au Pair will give your children exposure to the foreign language. So therefor a better opportunity to learn it from a native.
It is quite fundamental for your child to become bilingual in this time and age. This not only empowers your kids today, but it also opens greater opportunities for them when they grow up. Being bilingual will strengthen their CVs. It also exposes them to better career opportunities, and helps them explore different cultures across the globe. Fortunately, there are multiple channels through which you can expose your child to a foreign language effectively. Some of these channels include language apps, Au pairs, games, and TV shows. This might not be easy but gifting your child with a foreign language is a long-term achievement.
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