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Starting to learn languages from an early age can be incredibly beneficial for children. Being multilingual will not only help your child when they study languages at school, but it will also support them in other academic areas. Research suggests that multilingual children have enhanced critical thinking and creativity skills. Furthermore, knowing a second language can also improve your child’s future career prospects.
If you’d like to know how you can help your child to learn a new language, here is some great advice from an independent school in Surbiton…
“Practice makes perfect”
Never has this saying been truer than with language learning! If you want your child to master a new language, it is important to encourage them to practice as often as possible. Ideally your child should make time for studying their new language at least once a day. This can be done together at home, or you could enrol your child at a local language class. Another really simple way to practice language learning at home is by adding sticky labels to household objects. This will help your child to quickly enrich their new vocabulary by memorising new words.
Online language learning
If you cannot find any local classes or your child needs extra support with language learning at home, you can hire an online language tutor or check out other learning resources available online. Many are free and are specifically aimed at children. These are a great way to encourage learning through fun and interactive games. Help your child to get set up on your computer, or download an app onto your smart phone or tablet. You can always ask your child’s teacher for recommendations.
Turn on the TV
Another useful language learning method is watching television programmes or movies with subtitles. Your child will be able to follow along visually, whilst listening to natural conversation and pause or rewind where necessary. This method of learning will help to improve your child’s pronunciation and sentence structure.
Listen to music
Getting a song stuck in your head, will help you to understand how the power of music helps us to memorise new information. Studies have shown that listening to a song and singing along can really benefit your language learning. This is because rhythm and repetition helps with memorisation. If you have younger children you could start by learning some nursery rhymes in your chosen language.
Learn through play
If your child enjoys imaginative play, you can enhance their language skills using role play! This is a fun way to teach your child new words and phrases. Play a shop keeper and ask them for the translation of various foods, or count money in your second language. This is not only great practice, but it will also help your child to memorise new words whilst having fun.