Do you remember those junior high school language labs? The labs with headsets, the classrooms with written workbooks full of verb conjugation, and the teacher who followed a curriculum rather than her students’ abilities all contributed to the creation of the absolute worst and least effective method for teaching a second language. Because of this, those of us who took languages classes when middle school was known as junior high school only remember a few key words—and most likely pronounce them incorrectly!
As educators and parents today, we are aware of the significance of raising bilingual children. We see and experience this ever-shrinking world and are presented with numerous opportunities to put our bilingual abilities to the test. Recent research and the plethora of other studies that have been presented to us confirm that learning a new language early on is essential to success. Why? Because the best time to teach a new language is between the ages of ten and twelve, according to feature articles published in TIME and NEWSWEEK.
What a large portion of us don’t have the foggiest idea, nonetheless, is the manner by which to bring this language learning into our homes and our day to day routine. We struggle with figuring out how to find a language program for very young children, whether we will need to have teaching experience or a command of the new language to succeed in the classroom or at home, and how to incorporate learning a second language into our daily lives.
This new language program needs to be convenient for us as parents (some days we can’t even find time to read, so please make it work with our daily routine!). Do not provide us with a manual that we must read in order to assist our child (we are unable to read the Sunday paper!). We want a language program made by a person who is really familiar with children and language learning (we really want something that works and doesn’t go to the toy box!). Furthermore, might somebody at any point if it’s not too much trouble, work everything out such that we don’t need to make regularly scheduled payment installments to pay for the language learning program (we as a whole expertise much we spend in the main year of life!).
Before making a purchase, educators and parents are increasingly turning to the internet for information. When looking for a language program for your child, try this approach. Use your preferred search engine to look for keywords like “teach Spanish to child,” “bilingual DVD,” and “french music CD for child” in the title of this potential learning tool for your child. Then search for language programs that incorporate visual learning (68% of the populace advances outwardly), learning with music (what kid do you have any idea about who doesn’t adore music!), beginning to read in the new language—subtitles on a DVD, language cards, or board books are great tools—and engaging in some kind of verbal communication—even if you have to occasionally encourage the child to speak to the television.
Check to see if you can view online demos of the new language program’s components. You can view video clips and listen to songs in most programs. For any child between the ages of birth and ten, look for a true bilingual approach to teaching. Consistent progress from the local language to the new dialect is urgent during the initial five years of life. Many experts agree that you should introduce the new language alongside the child’s native language while he is still learning it. Children under the age of five will not benefit as much from hearing only the new, targeted language for an extended period of time with no reference.
Make sure the language learning program is affordable and truly integrated with multiple components (not just one CD or video you play over and over). For your child’s specific learning styles, moods, and methods of acquiring new information, the program should create a multi-media classroom. For your youngster, look for songs with catchy colors, captivating scenes, simple lyrics that are easy to understand, and an engaging presentation that combines the two languages.
Does the company provide assistance? Is this just a call center or is there a toll-free number where real people who know the language program can be reached? Do they value their clients by providing services like a resource newsletter, online access to additional teaching ideas, and follow-up communication? Have families used these products, and if so, which testimonials can you read to find out what they thought of them? How long has the company been providing these language learning tools, and what professional connections do the creators and owners have to the field of early childhood education?
All of the suggestions in this article work together to give your child a great start on what could be a lifetime of language skills. Keep in mind that you have given your child a head start on connecting the neural pathways necessary for language learning even if you choose Spanish for her now and she chooses French later in life. The top goal for you and your family’s list of New Year’s Resolutions should be to give your infant, toddler, or preschooler a head start on becoming bilingual this year.