Hi, this is Leila, talking today about how to help your child learn a second language. Teaching kids another language as early as possible can positively influence their future in many ways. Being bilingual has many benefits, especially in this modern era of fast development. That’s because knowing other languages can bring new opportunities. Fluency in another language is the smartest investment in your kid’s future. So, here’s how to support them and help them learn an additional language.
Help Your Child by Being Their Teacher
If you happen to be bilingual, the first step to help your kids is to speak to them in your native language. It looks something like private lessons. For example, you can explain basic words and help them work on their accent until they feel comfortable enough to take public classes.
Don’t focus only on simple words though. Give them some food for thought; in other words, make them think. Connect the sentences with the words they know; try to speak in another language as much as possible. That all will help your kids overcome any embarrassment because of mistakes they make and embrace them instead.
Online Lessons, Courses, and Tutors
If you don’t have enough time or if, unfortunately, you are not bilingual, then it is a great idea to sign your kids up for an online class. That way they will learn a second language from the comfort of their room, which will give them confidence and help your child learn. There are many free and useful resources online you can take advantage of for learning. For instance, YouTube video lessons for beginners can be very handy at the beginning of this process. Also, you can purchase online courses or spend a little extra and hire a reputable tutor to teach them online via video call.
Other Options to Learn a Second Language
As soon as they feel confident enough, you can go a step further. Enroll them in foreign language classes taught by experienced tutors. These tutors help support your child so they feel ready for a final exam or to finish a course for a foreign language certificate.
Teachers that tutor high school preparation courses to prepare kids for studying abroad explain that it is essential to enroll your kids as soon as they are old enough in order to pave the path to their successful education. In other words, learning a second language helps with college application in another country. Preparing them early gives them more options to choose from and follow their dreams.
Bilingual Books of Their Choice
Another tip for how to help your child learn a second language is to buy bilingual books and inspire them to read, discover, and enjoy the written words. Take them with you to the library and let them choose books with topics that interest them. Furthermore, motivate them to learn through reading on their favorite topics. If your small children can read a little, choose books with colorful images and clear labels to help them understand new words.
Practicing Listening with Foreign TV Shows and Movies
After you cover the basics of learning a second language and you feel like your child understands enough, you can organize a TV show night and watch a foreign TV show or movie with your native language subtitles. This way your child will learn to listen and connect words into sentences, with a little help from the subtitles.
Informal Learning Sessions
If your child has friends who are fluent in a foreign language, make the most of these friendships. Create informal learning sessions with these classmates to support your child. You might suggest that their classmate help them learn a second language.
In exchange, your children can help their classmate’s school project or something else. Get in contact with the classmate’s parents and discuss your plan; talk about the details and hear their suggestions. Organize home learning sessions but make sure that the lessons include some fun to help motivate them to work hard. After their informal learning class ends, reward them with pizza or a movie night.
How to help your child learn second language material can be one or more of these strategies. Be proud of what you’re doing as you’re likely making it easier for them to follow their dreams. The younger they are, the quicker they’ll learn likely. Keep these simple yet informational tips in mind to support your child when learning a second language.
About the Writer
Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur and freelance writer from Sydney. She’s passionate about self-growth and believes the quality of our lives depend on the quality of our relationships. When taking a break from writing, she is usually hitchhiking with her furry four-legged friend.