5 Things to Stop Right Now When it Comes to Teaching Your Kids a Foreign Language

5 Things to stop right now when it comes to teaching your kids a foreign language

Now that you have decided to start the wonderful journey with your kids, to teach them a whole new language, what’s next? How can you make a success of this whilst avoiding all the possible minefields of the task at hand? You might have been on this journey for a while or only just started and want to know what to do and what not to do. Here are 5 of the top things you should stop doing immediately in order to help your kids progress better and faster when learning a new foreign language.

1. Avoid overcorrecting your kids

When you are the teacher, it’s important to remember that there is a difference between constructive criticism and simply overcorrecting your child to the point where they are discouraged and unwilling to continue learning the language at all. Once this happens, not only will your child have lost interest in learning this language, but they will often also get the feeling of mistrust, that they have physically done something wrong that you as their parent are telling them is wrong and scolding them for. 

Try using a subtle approach where you give your child the opportunity to evaluate themselves to see if they have made a mistake or not without simply telling them every time that they had made a mistake. 

By doing this, your kids won’t feel as if you are over criticizing them and will teach them to be more attentive.

2. Only using apps and TV to teach your kids

Every parent understands the struggle, waking up early, getting chores done around the house, possibly having a full day of work, going grocery shopping and then coming home and having to teach the kids a new language in an entertaining and engaging way. 

I’m sure you got drained from just reading that and our first thought is usually to find the easiest way of accomplishing the task that requires the least amount of effort from you as a parent. Naturally our thoughts go to language apps or simply putting on a cartoon in the target language and popping the kids in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal. 

I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that this did not lead to my kids becoming fluent in the French language when we first started. The problem with these methods is that kids require actual human interaction to keep them engaged and entertained. 

The moment there is no human interaction, children tend to feel no real obligation to put in the effort or attention to see real results. 

While they can be useful tools to lean on, never underestimate the value that your presence and efforts have when you take the time to teach your kids a new language by yourself.

3. Forcing too much content in too little time

Unfortunately as adults we are accustomed to being on a schedule with an exact timeframe that we need to follow in order to accomplish everything we want to in the “right” amount of time, so much so that we sometimes forget kids are not working on the same timeframe. 

Because we feel that society has created a benchmark as to what level of proficiency our kids should have and the time in which they should be able to reach that level, we forget that kids don’t learn at the same pace. 

If we try to force our kids to learn large amounts of new content in a small amount of time that we deem to be sufficient, it will only end up overwhelming our kids completely and result in them losing interest and giving up. 

Remember to take a step back and take the time to figure out the speed that your child is comfortable with as well as the amount of new content that they are able to process and retain in that amount of time. 

By doing this, you are making sure your kids can stay engaged and motivated to keep going. Just keep in mind, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

4. Buying expensive toys and materials

Learning a new language is not like playing a sport where if you buy the highest rated and most expensive equipment, it will benefit you and your abilities in the game. Don’t do it! 

There is no need for all these expensive toys and materials, because it simply will not make the level of difference that you expect. 

Some of the best resources and materials for teaching your kids a new language are available for free or for very affordable and come from other parents that have already gone through this process and want to help you by giving you the tried and true materials, methods and resources for the best results.

5. Being inconsistent

I have said it before and I will say it again, consistency is key! 

Like most things in life, there are no shortcuts, no quick how-to guides or fast results for minimum effort. If you don’t keep going to the gym consistently and use that highly rated exercise plan that you’ve had on your phone for the last 2 months, will you expect to keep that toned tummy and smooth legs? No, of course not. 

Well naturally the same goes when you are teaching your kids. We all know how life can be unpredictable and we can’t always control it, but we can control our own actions, especially when you know it affects not only yourself, but your kids as well. 

When you are consistent, the whole process becomes a lot easier, almost like second nature and when that happens, you will have formed a habit which is so much easier to continue with. Consistency leads to good habits and good habits in turn leads to results. 

Your kids will have a much better chance of becoming proficient or fluent in the new foreign language if they are constantly learning and practising it.

At the very beginning when you just get started and follow all of these tips, it might feel like a rough game of minesweeper, but once you use them and follow through, it will make this journey a lot more exciting and enjoyable. Remember, when you are teaching your kids a new language, you are learning with them, you get to spend precious time with them while having loads of fun doing it. 

It’s not meant to be a struggle or a chore, it’s meant to be a fun activity with your family that you can look forward to. 

Now that you know what to avoid, it’s time to get started with ways that will help you move forward with your kids foreign language lessons.

To grab a free week of language lessons that your kids will LOVE, simply click here and select your language to get started.

✨ Psst... When you're ready, here are a few ways I can help you get started with teaching your kids a foreign language at home...

1. Download my free 10 Page Guide for Parents to help you see how easy introducing a foreign language at home can be - especially if you don't speak the language at all.

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