Learning a second language can be a big job! Especially if you’re only a little person, and can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed. It’s not uncommon to hear of children who refuse to stop speaking a certain language and drag their feet when it comes to practicing new words. That’s why it’s so important to make the language learning adventure fun! If your child enjoys learning the language then your chances are much higher that they will continue speaking the language later on in life.
So how do you make learning a second language fun?! Well luckily for you there’s a lot of really simple things that you can incorporate into your normal life that assist develop a love of language in your little one. From play-based games and activities, bilingual and engaging video content, challenges and adventures, you really do have a world full of options. Below we share 5 of our favorite ways to keep language learning something your child LOVES to do.
Little people learn while doing! So incorporating games into learning is such an effective way to help them pick up new vocabulary. There are so many language programs available with ideas for games, or if you’re feeling a little creative just pick a game that you used to love and translate the keywords. Something as simple as Snap, Tip or I Spy can quickly become your best teaching tools.
2. Link language learning to cultural learning
Learning a language is so much more than just remembering new words. Allow your child to engage with the foods of the country whose language they are studying, teach them stories about the history of the country, and give them opportunities to engage with different styles of music and film and participate in cultural activities such as different styles of art or going to an event.
3. Find a book series or tv show from the language you are teaching that your child connects with
Use this as something that your child looks forward to, and sees as a reward that just so happens to help them learn as opposed to something that they have to do before they can do the fun stuff.
4. Make it social
Doing anything with friends makes it better, and language learning is no exception. Finding a community play-group or language learning group allows your child to experiment with the new words they are learning in a different environment than the home along with other kids on the same journey! Even finding one other person/ child who is also learning the same language will help your child to feel connected to the language and give them an incentive to use it more.
5. Mix it up!
We all need a change every once in a while to keep us on our toes and engaged with what we are doing. If you’ve been using the same routine for a while maybe there’s an element that you can change to help keep your child excited to learn. Do you use a lot of video content? Why not try swapping it out for a book or a play? Do you always learn at the same place? Why not go an adventure to a cafe or restaurant and find some of the words you’ve been learning out in the world. Repetition is absolutely helpful when it comes to learning a language, but sometimes you need to look at things from a different perspective to help you keep it fun.
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