It’s no secret that learning a language can really help your child get ahead in life . This will give weight to his future CV and increase his chances of being admitted to the university of his choice. Also, it will improve his communication skills and prepare him for trips or a career abroad. It may even boost his brain and protect him from dementia later in life .
Once you’ve helped your child choose the language they’re interested in , you’ll have a number of ways to help them acquire fluency faster.
1. Speak it too
If you are already bilingual or multilingual, speak to your child as soon as possible in the languages you already master. The continuous exposure introduces the concept of multilingualism to children early in life and in a very natural way.
Learning a language early is also helpful, as it will help your child learn new language skills in later life. Thus, he will consider multilingualism as natural, will have assimilated the sounds and flow of the language studied and will even have acquired the foundations allowing him to learn a new language from scratch.
If you speak the relevant language at home, your child, in addition to the passive learning to which he will be exposed, will benefit from active learning which can be of great benefit to him – and prepare him for a lifelong positive relationship with the language learning. Try integrating new languages into your child’s daily life by organizing fun vocabulary exercises with them in the evenings using child-friendly flashcards or language learning apps.
2. Help them stick to a schedule
With older children, more mindful practice is essential, and as a parent you can do a lot to help yours develop healthy learning habits.
It is therefore essential to encourage your child to practice writing, improve their comprehension and regularly review their class notes. Memory is aided by repetition, and children’s learning habits are proven to respond well to structure as well.
If you manage to schedule an hour or more of practice each day, your child will assimilate the language much faster than if he is exposed to it only once or twice a week.
3. Stick their nose in a book
Children’s books are full of simple, varied words and essential linguistic and grammatical structures – in other words, they provide an ideal basis for learning a new language.
Because toddlers naturally love books – and love having their parents read to them – reading in the language they’re learning is an incredibly powerful way to progress every day.
Older children may need more encouragement, but it is essential to supplement their learning with active reading in the target language so that they assimilate their new language as well as possible. As their reading skills improve in the relevant foreign language, be sure to give them access to foreign versions of books they already love, such as Harry Potter.
Test your English level in minutes
4. Find a new TV series
Try turning their screen time into another channel of language exposure (it’ll be easier than expected, I promise).
If you are a parent of a toddler, try changing the language settings of their favorite show on Netflix. Most series are available in several languages and children will have no major difficulty following their favorite series in a foreign language to which they have already been exposed.
For teenagers, look for popular series or sitcoms in the language studied (here are our suggestions for superhero series to learn English , for example). Regularly watching a 20-minute conversation program in a foreign language can help them learn to follow spoken dialogue and introduce them to colloquial or slang expressions.