Teaching your child a new language doesn’t have to be difficult.
I’m going to show you how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps. Although children can easily learn multiple languages, oftentimes we aren’t sure how to teach them. However, helping your child learn a new language is easier than you think. Let’s take a look.
1. Listening to Music
Exposing your child to music is one of the simplest ways you can introduce them to a new language. As we know, children learn by seeing, listening, and interacting. When you play music in another language, your child will become familiar with the rhythm of the language. Listening to music will introduce them to new vocabulary, pitch, inflection, and the nuances of the language they are learning.
When I was trying to teach my children Spanish, I played a lot of Spanish music for them. The simple songs were very catchy and encouraged my children to sing along. Even if they didn’t understand the songs at first, they were developing essential skills for future communication. Hearing and repeating Spanish songs will help your child become a natural in the language. If you want to help your child learn a new language, play music for them as often as you can. It’s all about creating an environment for learning. Playing music is one simple way you can set the stage for your child’s journey in language learning.
2. Watching Videos/Programs
If you want to know how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps, pay close attention to this one. Having my children watch videos or TV programs in another language is one of my favorite ways to teach them a new language. I highly recommend finding some good DVDs or shows they can watch. I love using videos because it incorporates two forms of learning – seeing and listening. While music is great, videos can give your child a visual representation of the words they are hearing. It’s great for parents too. While you might not understand songs, a video makes it clear and allows you to learn right along with your child. I’ve just released my first baby Spanish video, “Todo Sobre Mi.” This is perfect for introducing your child to familiar first words and body parts in Spanish.
3. Reading Books
We know that reading to children is extremely beneficial, and reading them books in a foreign language is just another way to increase the benefits from books. When children read books in a foreign language, they become acquainted with the structure of the language. Seeing individual words is quite different from reading full sentences. Look for simple picture books that you and your child will enjoy reading together. You may want to practice reading the book first so your pronunciation is correct.
Look for translations of popular kids’ books, nursery rhymes, and bilingual books. I appreciate the bilingual books since I can read it in another language yet still understand the story.
* If you find it difficult to read to your child in a foreign language, see if your library offers a story time in Spanish, French, or whatever the language may be. You could also download Ebooks in another language. Some Ebooks have an audio option and will read to you.
4. Viewing Flashcards
Flashcards have always been a favorite of mine. They are quick, fun, interactive, and effective. Out of the five steps listed in how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps, this is one of the easiest. Whether you purchase flashcards or create your own, start showing your baby flashcards about 3 times each day.
You might choose 10-15 words to quickly flip through when they wake up, after a diaper change, during bath time, or whenever is convenient for you. It should only take you about 30 seconds per session to review the flashcards.
Another way you can utilize your flashcards is by taping them up around the house. I used to have flashcards all over the place when I was trying to teach my children Spanish. I would have them on the fridge, chairs, light switches, dressers, and wherever else I could place them. When I’d walk around the house I’d show my baby the word and say it to them a couple times.
Flashcards are great because they are so versatile. Not only can you use them as review cards, but they’re also great for playing cards. My kids loved playing Spanish matching games with our flashcards. No matter how you use them, find what works best for you and start incorporating flashcards into your daily routine.
5. Conversing with Others
We’ve reached our final and maybe most important step in how to teach your child a new language in 5 simple steps. Conversation. If your child does not view flashcards, or listen to music, or read books, or watch TV, they can still learn a new language simply by conversing with others. If your child is constantly spoken to and engaged with those who speak another language, he will learn to speak it as well. I have witnessed this occurrence time and time again. Conversation is key to a language transformation.
I must admit that none of my children speak Spanish. Although I showed them flashcards, and read them books, and did all I could, I don’t speak Spanish. My efforts have not been a waste. They know some Spanish and it has blessed them in other areas, but they are not fluent Spanish-speakers. Why? They were rarely spoken to in Spanish.
This is why I encourage you to find someone to talk to your child in a foreign language. If your child is consistently hearing the language spoken and being “forced” in a sense to respond, they will grasp it. Perhaps you can take them to a class, or hire a babysitter to watch them for part of the day, or visit friends and family that speak the language. Do whatever you can to allow them to communicate and interact with those who speak the language you want them to learn.
Remember that consistency is key in all that you do. Your baby can learn quickly and effortlessly, so optimize on this amazing period of time and give your child the gift of language. You can easily teach them a new language, all it requires is a bit of dedication. I hope you found these 5 steps helpful, and I would love to hear about your ideas for teaching children language. Would you take a moment to comment below and let me know what language you want your child to learn? Are you already teaching your child a foreign language? What methods do you like to use? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, so don’t forget to share your ideas in the Comments below!