Using Screen Time To Your Advantage For Bilingual Children

“Screen time” can be a bit of a dirty word(s) can’t it? 

But not ALL screen time is bad. 

In fact, it can definitely be used to your advantage when it comes to teaching your kids a new language. 

The key? 

Keep screen time for your little one's language journey as educational and as interactive as possible. 

Do A Screen Time Swap

Every mum on the face of the planet already has a schedule without an inch to pinch.

I love what one of our mums in The Cultured Home program, Anneke, did to fit language lessons into her busy family schedule.

She did a screen time swap!

Her son Soren would normally spend time watching Peppa Pig during the day so she simply swapped Peppa Pig for one of The Cultured Home language videos.

I thought this was such a great way to fit language lessons into the day without having to find ‘extra’ time.

Cos if there IS extra time, mum needs that for a 5 minute coffee break, ta very much!

So have a think about the passive TV programs your child watches during the day and swap it for a language lesson instead.

Make Screen Time Interactive

Kids will learn much more if screen time is interactive. 

Studies have shown apps that allow a “read-along” experience, for example, can help children develop a better understanding of concepts about stories and words. 

The language lessons in The Cultured Home encourage your kiddos to interact along with the lesson. Our engaging call and response video format introduces core vocabulary to kids through live video and animation as well as introducing the written word - and what we find is that in the response section, kids repeat the word before our native speakers do. Trés bien!

Co-view, co-play and co-engage with your kids during screen time and you’ll not only help them better retain the new words - you’ll be learning alongside them

Young children learn best when you re-teach them in the real world what they just learned on the screen. 

Let’s say you watched a language lesson that taught different colours -  go over this again later while you’re spending time together without the screen. 

Non-native Speaking Mamas Need Screen Time

Educational language videos and apps taught by native speakers are linguist life savers for parents who don’t speak the language themselves. 

Screen time gives your child (and you!) exposure to the native accent and sounds of the word. 

The extent to which your child picks up a new language heavily depends on how much exposure they have to it. This seems obvious but I think it’s something parents can overlook. 

It’s better to have a mini lesson daily for continual, repeated exposure than a longer lesson once or twice a week. 

Knowing your child can hear how the native language is correctly pronounced through video lessons takes a big weight off your shoulders.

I mean, trying to roll those Spanish ‘Rs’ smoothly? Uh huh. 

Bottom Line On Screen Time? 

Educational and interactive screen time can play an important role in helping your child learn a second language - especially if you’re a non-native speaker.

But it shouldn’t be the ONLY tool you rely on. Reading, play time, songs, and physical activities should all be parts of the journey!

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