Learning a second language opens up many opportunities for young people, both personal and professional. It may broaden their job prospects as they get older and widen their social sphere; the benefits are unquestionable. As with many things, the earlier a child starts to engage with a second language, the easier it will be for them to develop those skills. It takes practise and persistence and there are lots of ways you can help. But don’t worry – you don’t have to be able to speak the language in question in order to provide your assistance. A private school in Surrey have put together the following tips to help.
Having someone to study with is an instant motivator for children, because it makes the experience less boring. Perhaps you can take this opportunity to learn a new language together, setting a good example for your child and providing support should they need you. Flash cards are great for helping with vocabulary, as you can hold up the cards with the English word on one side and the foreign translation on the other. Take it in turns to show your child each side and practise little and often.
Another way to help with vocabulary is to label everything around the house, like your furniture and appliances. Constant exposure to these words will make them more memorable and your child will eventually be able to incorporate them into sentences and conversations. Other ways to help learn a new language are to watch foreign films with English subtitles or download a music playlist with foreign songs that you can listen to on car journeys.
Immersion is the best way to learn, so if you have friends or family who are fluent speakers of the language, don’t hesitate to get them involved. Perhaps your child could write letters to them or speak to them over the phone. Try and keep the learning experience fresh and fun where possible. You could play games like Hangman in the chosen language, rather than using the same study methods over and over again.