Some say that it is never a good idea to cut costs on education. But there are ways of paying less and giving your children the knowledge they need. For example, you can save money on tutoring and teach your children a foreign language yourself. It is not as complicated as it sounds. I did it and now my beautiful daughter speaks Swedish. The best part is that everybody will enjoy the process. If you have doubts about your kids learning a foreign language, here are some of the significant benefits:
– improves creativity and problem-solving skills;
– helps to develop all the crucial skills faster;
– improves critical thinking.
What You Can Do:
- Engage children in the learning process. It is difficult to make your little genius sit still and listen to you. The learning process should be fun and engaging. Teaching children while playing with them is the best option you have. What you need to do is to name the toys involved in the process and their colors first in English. After a while, repeat the same activity using a foreign language. There will be some mix-ups, naturally. You will hear your child composing a sentence using both languages at once. But that is just an essential part of the learning languages.
- Use nonverbal communication. The learning process will improve if you use expressive gestures and physical demonstrations of what you are talking about. Doing so, your children will comprehend the meanings of new words faster and are more likely to memorize them quickly.
- Travel. If you have an opportunity to take your children for a holiday to another country where the language is spoken, do it. The experience of cultural immersion will help them understand the traditions and language aspects better. As an alternative, you can ask a native speaker to communicate with your child. Live communication brings better results than listening to the audio records.
- Use foreign language to communicate with them. You might have heard that many instructors speak only in a foreign language during the classes. So, if you are fluent in a second language, use this knowledge to your advantage. You can turn any activity into a learning process. For example, while cooking a dinner together, comment on your actions and name the ingredients. If at some point you forget a word, there are numerous translation apps to help you out.
- Learn and sing songs. Children memorize new words much faster if they are used in a poem or song lyrics. Rhymes can do wonders. Have fun learning a nice song and singing it together. You can print out the lyrics and explain what is the song about.
- Use books and videos in a foreign language. If your children don’t have an opportunity to use a foreign language regularly, suggest them reading a book or watching a movie. Our brain hides the information we don’t use somewhere very deep and it takes a lot of efforts to find and restore it.
Tools to Help You:
Gus on the Go. It is a great app with an adorable animated owl that helps children learn a new language. There are 14 languages to choose from, including Spanish and French. The app’s advantage is also in improving fine motor skills and coordination.
Little Pim. You’ll find all kinds of learning materials here – books, DVDs, CDs, apps, etc. They use an entertainment immersion method that makes learning easy and fun for children.
These two resources are universal and offer a long list of languages to choose from. But there are also those aimed at specific tongues.
Here are the useful links: