Out of all the gifts that you can give your children, creating a space where they can learn a second language is one of the top ones. Approximately two-thirds of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual, and there are so many benefits for these people who know more than one language, especially starting from a young age. Not only does learning a foreign language enable your child to learn about the world in a whole other way, it also increases their cognitive functioning, decision-making skills and memory.
If you want to boost your child’s language learning skills, here are a number of ways you can do so, all from with comfort of your own home.
Play games & use online entertainment
To get your child laughing and having fun while they are learning a new language, playing games can play a huge part! You can find bilingual games or let them choose a game they already know and love and get a version of it in their target language. You can also find fun lessons online that your child might enjoy just having it be on a tablet or the computer. There are plenty of websites out there, such as Babbel, that are designed to make language learning very interactive and practical. If you are learning French, for example, you can learn French phases through an interactive learning course that suits your style. This can even be a fun way for you to learn (or practice) a language along with your child!
Do you still remember those songs that you learned in grammar school? Songs are a great way to engage young children and improve auditory memory. They are a fun way to make content come alive, and with a fun tune, a song can get stuck in your head for years to come. You can sing kid songs with child for the purpose of listening and speaking, or even follow along with teach and sing lessons for language skills.
Read a book
If you can get your hands on some books in your target language, whether to borrow or to own, books are a great way for your child to get absorbed in a story and absorb their target language. You can go beyond reading a story and delve into talking about the characters and what they see and imagine coming alive in the story. That way, your child gets to exercise their reading comprehension and speaking skills.
Listening is one of the most crucial aspects of learning a language. If your child is not in a consistent environment where they are hearing the language they are learning, chances are it will be easier for them to lose some of their skills. To avoid that from happening and instead advance their skills, flip on some television so they can listen and be surrounded by the language they are learning. Most kids would love so an extra television time, so take it as an educational opportunity to watch a kid-friendly show together. Kid shows have basic vocabulary that they can learn and pick up on, as well as the emotion that can be put behind phrases and how and when to use them.
Luckily, it is never too early to start teaching your child a foreign language. Get started as soon as possible to give your child the best foot forward in learning a new language!