Teaching your child a foreign language helps with brain development and lays the foundation for lifelong academic achievement. It s proven that the early exposure to more than one language actually builds a more powerful brain. Studies show that the language is easier acquired at early age. Adults and older children require years of study in non-immersion program before approaching fluency in a foreign language, yet children under the age 10 seem to more readily accept and learn these same languages.
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It doesn t really matter what language a child learns or even if they don t become fluent; what is important is different way of looking at the world, openness to diverse concepts and critical thinking that learning a foreign language provides.
Some might think it fruitless to expose infants to a foreign language before they can even talk. Well, many experts now believe that babies exposed to more than one language during the first year of life will not only have an easier time learning foreign languages later in life, but actually improve their listening, problem-solving, and resolving skills in general. The best way to expose babies to foreign language is in a form of songs, rhymes and pictures with familiar objects such as toys, animals and his surroundings.
We all learned our native language by an immersion approach. (No one translated anything to us because there was simply no language to translate to). So it s only natural to use an immersion approach for young kids. Kids at this age learn through a lot of repetition and they learn naturally and intuitively just by being immersed in it. The quantity and frequency of words a child is exposed to has a direct influence on how fast that child will learn a language on a receptive and expressive level. The songs and games with bright graphics and cheerful characters are most effective at this age.
Early Elementary Kids
Kids aged 5-6 to about 10 years old can still start to learn a foreign language and speak it without an obvious accent. After that time, learning a second language becomes a more laborious task. Older kids have many more option on how to learn a foreign language but in general engaging games, such as Crosswords, Word Bingo or anything that is within their interests will strengthen their skills without making them feel like they re learning by rote.
Parents don t need to be fluent to teach the foreign language effectively. All you need is a little preparation and lots of creativity.The easiest way to introduce a foreign language in the home is to have a native speaking grandparent, family friend or nanny to speak the language to a child. If not available, enroll the child in foreign language school, a childcare centre that offers a foreign language program or join a foreign language playgroup. You don t have to worry if you are not a native speaker, rather concentrate on what you learn with your child and incorporate the new words into everyday language. This can be simple as replacing one word in sentence with the same word in the foreign language, such as a color or a number. Replace these words as often as possible.Place cards with foreign words all around the house or watch appropriate movies in foreign language together. Remember that young children will stay engaged and respond to a language instruction if you make it fun.
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