5 Tips for Teaching a Foreign Language to Young Children

Have you been thinking about teaching your child a foreign language? If so, we support you in doing so because there are so many reasons why that’s a good thing to do. There is a lot of research that indicates that kids who are bilingual are better communicators, perform well on standardized tests and ultimately are quite a commodity for colleges and the professional world.Of course, it’s a lot easier to plan to teach Spanish, French or Italian than it is to actually learn it and so we wanted to provide you with five tips on how you can instruct your child in a way that will be easy for them to learn and less stressful for you in the process.Don’t put it off. Many studies reveal that the sooner you start to teach your child a foreign language, the easier it will be to learn it. This means that even if you have a baby who is just starting to pronounce simple words, that is a prime time to introduce them to another language. As a matter of fact, many experts believe that teaching a child another language during their first year of life is the most ideal.

Get a bilingual babysitter or nanny. If you’re someone who uses assistance outside of the home to raise your child, it could definitely work in your favor to hire someone whose first tongue is a language other than English. Then you can request that they speak fluently in their language to your child so that they are able to be exposed to a foreign tongue in an authentic way.Speak it to them. It’s going to be a lot easier for your child to remember certain words if you are using them so even if you’re not someone who is an expert in another language, pick up some flashcards that have simple words like “open”, “eat” and “shoe” in a foreign language so that you can say those words in both English and another tongue while engaging your child.Put them in a class. While you could order a Rosetta Stone video series or do some research on a foreign language teaching website (like perhaps a UniSpain blog), your child will learn a lot quicker if they go to a weekly class that’s taught by a native speaker and has students that are close to their age. The most ideal setting is a class that has no more than eight children in it and lasts for no more than 45 minutes.Travel to another country. It can be fun for both you and your child to go to a country that speaks the language that you are wanting them to learn. It’s a great way to learn it more quickly, while also surrounding them with the culture itself from the music and food to the clothing and architecture. It’s kind of like the difference between watching a movie about Spain and then going there for yourself. Being in the environment simply leaves you with a more lasting impression. For both you and your little one.

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