Top Tips for Helping Your Child Learn a New Language
Learning a new language can be very beneficial for your child, in terms of their future applications to universities and various jobs, broadening their travel prospects and boosting their communication skills. As parents, there are lots of things you can do to help your child develop skills in their new language. If you speak more than one language yourself, it will help your child to flit between them, as it will expose them to the idea of multilingualism in a natural way. In other words, they will think it’s normal to speak more than one language and have a foundation to build upon. However, don’t worry if you are not bilingual, as there are other ways you can help your child. Here are some tips from a Sixth Form in London.
It’s important to bear in mind that regular practise and repetition aids memory, so little and often is the best approach when trying to learn a new language. With this in mind, try and help your child prepare a schedule so that they factor in half an hour to an hour of language study every day. This will be far more beneficial to them than connecting with the language once or twice a week.
Encourage your child to find entertaining ways to learn the new language. For instance, they could read books or watch films/TV series in the target language. Most shows are available on popular streaming services in multiple languages, and they should be fairly easy to follow, especially with subtitles. Exposure to the language in fiction books or on screen will make the learning process more enjoyable for your child, which will likely motivate them. Another option is to encourage your child to listen to music in the chosen language.
If your child is a beginner, one great option to help them learn basic vocabulary is to encourage them to stick labels to frequently used items around the house. They will see these words several times a day, which will make them hard to forget. Flash cards are also great for helping with vocabulary. Ask your child to write the English version of a word on one side of the card and the foreign version on the other. Hold the card up to them so that they can only see one side and ask them to tell you what the translation is. Having someone to study with, in this manner, whether it be yourself, a friend or someone else, will be helpful to your child because it makes the learning process less boring.