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The happiest, most successful adults receive a broad, well-rounded education. This prepares them for the workforce and to be ready for good citizens. There are many steps homeschooling parents can take to facilitate this. One of the most important is ensuring their children learn at least one foreign language.
If you’re wondering if your child is ready to learn, they most certainly are. It is best to start kids learning languages at an early age. So, find a language learning program you love, and use these 8 tips to help your kids successfully learn a foreign language.
8 Ways to Help Kids Learn a Foreign Language
Make it a Priority:
Your kids won’t think learning a new language is important unless you do. You can’t simply give lip service. You must show this is important by doing the following:
- Blocking out time each day for working on language learning.
- Asking kids about their progress.
- Praising and encouraging them.
- Helping them with practice and homework
- Providing the supplies and workspace they need.
Encourage Them to Use The Language
Children retain language best when they use it. Encourage them to speak to you and teach you new phrases they’ve learned. When you select a learning program, look for one that incorporates speaking and conversation into the curriculum.
Show Kids The Benefits of Learning Another Language
If you can get your kids to ‘buy in’ to the idea that learning a new language is good for them, you’re off to a great start. This can be a huge motivator. The key is to find your kid’s ‘currency’, and use that to convince them. An older kid might be motivated by the fact that learning a language could lead them to better career opportunities. This might include working in international business providing translation online services. A younger kid might be influenced by learning that they can become better readers and writers in their language.
Hire a Native Speaking Tutor
If your child struggles to master the language at first, they may become discouraged. This can cause learning to grind to a halt. Consider investing in a few sessions with a language tutor. If possible, find someone who is a native speaker.
Find Fun Tools And Apps
The more engaging learning is the better. This is as true for learning a foreign language as anything else. Fortunately, there are a wide array of apps, games, websites, and other tools to make language education fun and interactive.
Have Them Consume Foreign Language Content
Many learning packages rely on drills, reading, recitation, and repetition to learn the language. These are all helpful in building mastery and memorization. That said, language becomes more real to kids when they can experience it in context.
You can help with this by providing them with opportunities to consume content in their foreign language. Look for books, television shows, and movies in their new language. Encourage them to watch with and without subtitles. This will also introduce them to the conversational/spoken form of the language as well as different dialects.
Take Part in a Pen Pal Program
Yes, pen pal programs do still exist! You can find both email and snail mail options. With a bit of research on pen pals, you will be able to find an option to match your child with a compatible friend. When you and your child fill out their profile, specify that they are trying to learn the language.
Incorporate Cultural Learning
A good foreign language curriculum is well-rounded. It isn’t only about learning a new language. Your child should also learn about different cultures, customs, history, cuisine, art, and music. Look for opportunities to supplement their learning with field trips to relevant restaurants, festivals, and museums. Take advantage of online opportunities as well.
It is both fun and beneficial to learn a language. Provide your child with the opportunity to do so. Then, be sure they have the resources to succeed.
Author Bio: Merissa Moore is a talented researcher and writer with a wide range of interests.
She is especially enthusiastic about educational technology. Merissa believes all of us should
be lifelong learners. When she gets some time to herself, she enjoys knitting and watching