As we all know, one of the best ways for a child to learn a language is if they are surrounded by people who speak the desired language. However, as we are meeting people less often and aren’t currently travelling, being in an environment where your child can be exposed to various languages isn’t easy. It would be great if the child’s home could be the centre for language learning. But what do you do if you’re monolingual and want your child to be bilingual?
As mentioned in the previous post, the earlier your child is exposed to a language, the faster they will absorb it. This means that there is less work required on the parent to teach the language and less on the child to learn, especially if you aren’t already fluent in the chosen language.
Remember, it is never too late to learn a language!
Videos & Music
Check out YouTube videos online for your child’s favourite TV shows. Many shows have been translated into multiple languages. Listening to the dialogue in your chosen language can help your child hear the native accent of the speaker and will help them understand the language better. Language learning does require communication; however, listening and understanding are important steps to being able to speak.
Join Social Groups
I’m sure that there are many parents just like you looking to teach their children a second language. Try finding like-minded people in your area or online, such as Facebook groups. You can learn new tips from other parents and find playmates who speak the language for your child to associate with.
If there’s nothing in your area, create your own group!
If learning the target language then teaching it to your child isn’t an option for you, online language classes may be the way to go. There are many free sites that offer language lessons online for children and families.
Also, hiring a tutor, or enrolling your child in child care or a school that instructs in your target language can be beneficial to cater to your child’s individual needs and provide them with the education necessary to reach fluency.
Realistically, a child needs to be speaking a language frequently in order to achieve fluency. It’s helpful to have one person in a child’s life who speaks the target language. It might be a good idea for you as the parent to learn the language a little bit so that you and your child can engage in conversations. And you’ll notice that you’ll end up learning quite a lot along with them.
Regardless of the path you decide to take, consistency is key. Children need to practice continuously in order to gain familiarity with the language and be confident with their progress.
Good luck and happy learning!
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