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  • Writer's pictureCoastal Academy

How to Teach Your Child a Second Language

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Learning a second language is becoming more and more popular around the world- and for good reason! With so many benefits, many parents are trying to teach their children a second language. Not sure how to get started? Read ways you can teach your children a second language below!

Start Early

If you’ve ever tried to learn a second language as an adult, you know how difficult it can be to master. This is why it is so important to teach kids a second language at an early age. Since children’s brains are still being developed, they have a higher chance of quickly learning a new language compared to those of us who are in adulthood. The ability to hear different phonetic pronunciations is sharpest before age 3, so, learning at a young age can help children pick up different sounds and natural accents.

Create a Causal Learning Environment

Learning a new language can be stressful and difficult, so make sure you’re cultivating a safe learning environment for kids to learn in. The best way for children to understand a new language is to hear it be spoken fluently, allowing them to pick up on various sounds and noises. Speaking the language frequently in the home is a great way to create a casual atmosphere for them to learn in. Even if you don’t speak a second language, simply saying “hello” when you greet them or “goodnight” at bedtime in that language can be a great way to slowly introduce common words or phrases to them.

Talk Constantly

Constantly talking to infants and toddlers can help them learn different sounds, which they can use to form words and eventually talk in complete sentences when they're able to. If you are unable to speak the language you are trying to teach, consider frequently watching movies in a second language or use subtitles to provide a visual to the words they are hearing. Listening to music is also another great way to get exposure to a new language, allowing kids to have fun while taking in new vocabulary.

Use Rhymes and Songs to Familiarize the New Language

Learning a new language can be fun and easy when you incorporate rhymes or songs into the lesson. Songs are a fantastic way for children to learn and enhance their knowledge of complex topics such as learning a second language. Websites like YouTube offer free songs and rhymes to help kids understand and learn a second language with ease.

Incorporate Bilingual Materials

This can be a fun way to keep kids entertained and engaged when learning a new language! Whether it’s a board game or a puzzle, there are a variety of bilingual materials you can utilize to help kids learn the sounds and words used in a second language. Books can be a great way for kids to learn a new language since they can see and hear the words being spoken to them, allowing them to retain information more easily.

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