It’s common knowledge that reading to children from a young age has many, many benefits…
At the very least it promotes listening skills, increases the number of vocabulary words that babies hear, develops their attention span and memory, helps them to learn to understand the meaning of words, stimulates the imagination and all the senses plus many more!
Well, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that if you’re wanting to teach your child a second language, the earlier you start, the better. Studies have shown that children who are read out loud when they are babies are more proficient at that language and have better reading skills once they start school than children who weren’t.
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry! We have included some top tips on how to help make this process a fun experience for you and your child!
5 Tips on Reading Language Books to your Children
• Begin reading to your child as early as possible. Children are never too young! You may not feel like your child is even paying attention but try to persist. At the very least, you’re establishing a great reading habit and introducing vocabulary that will become familiar over time.
• Engage your children’s interests. Its a great idea to try and find books in both languages on topics that they care about. One of our favourite kids books is the internationally renown, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. Why not also read both the English version and the target language equivalent such as the French edition ‘Le Chenille Qui Fait des Trous.’ You might be surprised at how much your child might comprehend when you introduce the story in the target language!
• Try to find materials related to your family history and culture.This will help make learning the second language relevant.
• Use many varying sources of reading materials. Look for other things to read: magazines, newspapers, online articles, puzzles, and board games. Variety is the key!
• Enlist the help of family or friends who speak the second language. Ask them to expose your kids to stories, poems, songs, and nursery rhymes. Even if your family aren’t fluent in the second language, have them speak anyway. The more exposure, the better!
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