You play a significant role in your child’s language development. In fact, studies had it those children whose parents read to and spoken with them often and a lot during their childhood will develop better grammar and wider vocabularies than kids who were not.
Especially if you want to teach your child foreign language, teaching him early (and earnestly) can prove to become more successful than to start with it at a later stage in his childhood. As you already know, (constant) practice makes perfect!
But what are the benefits of learning another language or being bi-/multilingual?
Language and communicating effectively is important but often overlooked.
Despite excellence in communication, mistranslations and misunderstanding are quite common. For example, it would be hard or near possible to travel or live in another part of the world where the language is not one’s native tongue due to misunderstanding.
But by learning a new language, one may be able to get along and adapt faster with new people in the community. This example is only one of the many reasons learning another language is important.
many schools are adapting bilingual education because certain studies showed that bilingual education offers benefits on health, social and cognitive aspects of an individual.
There is no doubt, as someone who can communicate better can be more successful socially than those who cannot whether at the workplace or in school.
As you’ll see, children who know multiple languages won’t just be using them in the four corners of the classroom but also outside of it – in the real world – when they’re already professionals, no matter their industry.
There is no need to say but learning “a second or even a third language” is an investment for the future of your child.
Creativity and new ways to express feelings and ideas
Language can improve creativity. When your child forms new words to express his thoughts, he uses his brain as when he tries to formulate creative thoughts.
Backing up how creativity and language learning is related, a study discovered that bilinguals were more creative than their monolingual counterparts were, based on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking test that evaluates flexibility, fluency, elaboration and originality.
If you want an analytically intelligent child, you might really want to teach him a foreign language.
In fact, people who speak at least two languages can implement a more logical way of processing information.
For example; bilinguals who need to make decisions in a foreign language can come up with wiser decisions according to analytical reasoning rather than deciding based on emotions.
How To Make Your Child Learn Languages
- Make the process as interesting as possible
Don’t make foreign language learning boring and overwhelmingly serious! Make the process as interesting (and as creative) as possible.
Improve the success of language learning by reinforcing the concepts he learned at home. You can keep the spirit alive by introducing your kid to foreign language picture books, CDs, videos and TV shows.
More so, you can search the internet and search the web for foreign culture websites (specifically on the language you want him to learn), but make sure they can be viewed in both English and the foreign language.
You can also start labeling household objects and practicing him on identifying those in foreign language.
Also, you can invite houseguests, who are fluent in other languages, and let your child practice speaking the foreign language with them.
- Find good opportunities to practice the language outside.
When you don’t speak a second language yourself, you can find good opportunities outside to help your kid practice and learn another language.
For one, you can look for a foreign language class or a language immersion class. Also, you can enroll him for lessons with a native speaker.
These opportunities will be a big help even if you only have a few hours per week to take him to those classes.
Overall, know that it is not enough that your child will listen and study foreign words, but it is equally important that he masters it by using it frequently with outside opportunities.
- Ask a speech therapist for help
If your child finds it hard to pronounce the sounds of the new language, you might want to consider getting a speech therapist for help. As while learning a new language is not a disorder, it can become more successful with help of a speech-language pathologist, who can also address language disorders.
One can help addressing any difficulty he’s having in understanding language, choosing correct words to use, following directions or combining appropriate words based on the sentence.
With a speech therapist, any language disorders, which would otherwise affect his social interaction and learning abilities, can be addressed.
- Introduce the language at an early age
Start teaching him the foreign language as soon as possible, no matter your child’s age is. Did you know that even babies could learn a foreign language introduced to them at birth?
- Teach the basics
Start with the basics of the target language even if you’re not a master of it yourself. Help him get an ear for the language by letting him listen to the different tones. You can also learn how to count and identify the shapes together. That would be fun, won’t you think?
- Use different resources
Look online for resources, such as language apps and use them to teach him a new language. You can also let him play language activities and games.
- Engage him to listening exercises
Ensure that he’s listening to the foreign language for practice because learning it must be expressive and repetitive. Make sure that he’s also learning how to say things aside from mimicking the words.
- Let children have conversation with each other
You can also create conversation partners by letting your kid talk with other children who are also learning another language and allowing them to have conversations.
Summing up, make foreign language learning enjoyable by engaging in activities that your child loves. After all, he will learn better if he’s having fun. Follow these steps in teaching your child a foreign language and make him learn in no time. And remember: start early. After all, the key to the successful future of your child is carried in the childhood.
Lilly Myers is a freelance content writer and social worker at Beverly Hills Speech Therapy. She has just recently received Master’s in Medical Sciences. Besides her occupancy she tries to find a spare time for volunteering and helping the people with disorders.