Learning a new language is not the easiest thing and knowing how to teach a foreign language to a child is even harder.
Surely, for some of us, it can seem impossible. For a young child though, learning a new language can seem like a very fun and exciting activity. It can keep them busy for hours while allowing them to gain some valuable skills for their future.
If you are trying to help your child learn a new language, you will need to know a few tips and tricks in order to help motivate them. Here’s a quick guide on how to teach a foreign language to a child.
1Start speaking to them in a language you know
Coming in contact with a new language from a young age could help your child develop an interest in learning more about that language. If you are bilingual or simply speak a second language, it is a good idea to start speaking to your child in more than one language when you have the chance.
Even though many parents are scared that their children will develop learning difficulties if they are presented with more than one language at a young age, this most likely won’t be the case. Studies have shown that more than half of the world’s population is bilingual and exposing your child to two languages at a young age will help set the right foundations for their future in learning.
2Help them stay organized
Staying organized while learning something new is important, whether they are learning a new language or even practicing a new sport. In order to be productive, a child will need to work in a space which will help him stay focused and engaged.
This can be achieved in a number of ways and you will have to work on making this happen from the very beginning. For example, you should teach your child to always gather and organize their notes or keep their notebooks clean and tidy.
The more effort you put into creating an environment that is free of distractions and fully equipped with everything your child will need, the easier it will be for them to stay organized and study productively. You can easily achieve this by having a separate space for studying and working. Keep all of their books and supplies organized and ready to use.
3Take a trip abroad
Another thing you can do in order to make a child interested in learning a new language is to take them on a trip abroad. Hearing natives speak and seeing landmarks and signs all around them will make any child excited and eager to start learning about this new culture.
When you go back home from your trip, you should keep their interest alive by reminding them of your vacation and showing them pictures of the place you visited. Promising another future trip to that location or a new country that speaks the same language could also be a great motivation for them to start learning the language.
4Focus on their overall performance
One of the things that can really help a child make progress when learning a new language is showing them support and acknowledging how far they have come. Instead of focusing on how much they have learnt on one particular day, you should focus on all the things they have achieved on a larger amount of time.
Not every child has the same learning abilities. By mentioning their progress every time they have a class or learn something new could discourage them if they haven’t learnt as much as you were expecting.
5Have them join a language school
Studying alone or with a parent might work for some kids but it definitely is not going to work for everyone. If you have come to find that your child isn’t making much progress studying with you or that you simply don’t know how to teach a foreign language to a child, you can always have your young one join a language course at a language school in your area.
There are many perks to this situation. First of all, your child will come in contact with other children of his age who have the same interest in learning this new language. The language school is going to be a lot more organized in the way they teach. Plus, there is also a good possibility that the teacher will be a native speaker of the language.
6Use various teaching apps and tools
Teach them more about the country that speaks the language you are trying to teach them. Apart from certain facts you tell them about the country and the people, you can also use a variety of apps to help make this process a lot easier and more entertaining for your child.
The very first things you can use are various geography apps and games which can help the child get a better sense of where the country is and what it has to offer. Depending on the country’s location, you can always find documentaries online. They can show them some interesting things about the country.
You can find videos and documentaries which can include anything from history, art, real stories of local people, and the nature of the country. Anything that your child might be interested in, you can definitely find a video for and help them learn new things while sparking up their love for the language and the country.
An additional idea would be to download a cooking app which includes some traditional recipes of the said country. Pick any day, go grocery shopping with your little one and then start cooking a delicious meal that is traditional to that country. You can always make this more interesting for them by teaching them the name of each vegetable and all the cooking supplies in the language they are trying to learn.
7Find books and movies in that language
When it comes to knowing how to teach a foreign language to a child, there’s one thing a lot of parents overlook. That it’s motivating for a child to learn a new language through books and movies from local sources.
Netflix and other similar apps and websites provide a variety of movies in different languages. You will be able to even watch local movies with subtitles in the language your child is trying to learn.
A book is a much easier and more portable option. You will easily be able to find something that is compatible with your child’s level of the language. You can order them online or find them at the foreign book section of a local bookstore or library.
Learning a new language is very important
There is nothing else that can unite us with people from all around the world than speaking different languages. Apart from enjoying travels and being able to understand friends from all over the world, knowing languages can also help create a great opportunity for younger people who wish to work in any sector related to languages and translations.
By knowing how to teach a foreign language to a child, you are giving children a way to communicate with others, to understand different cultures, and to find a job a lot easier than others. This might even end up being a career that will make them happy.