Hey! It’s Lauren here, the Language Mindset UK-based blogger and fellow language lover. Hope you enjoy the post!
Becoming proficient in a second language takes time and commitment, and that can be hard to explain to a kiddo when they’re eager to improve. That’s not to say they can’t develop their skills quickly, though.
With regular practice using materials they enjoy, they can make noticeable progress they’re proud of.
In this blog post, we share a few practical tips to bring the target language into your home and help your child consistently progress while enjoying learning.
Select language learning resources wisely
This is essential to making sure your kiddo actually wants to learn. Choose materials that bring the language to life and capture their attention to turn it into something they enjoy.
The more they enjoy it, the sooner they’ll see progress.
We believe in developing lifelong language learners, and our favorite way is to teach through stories, songs and art. Activities like these aid memorization and develop language skills by helping them learn through context.
Immerse them in the language
It’s no secret that immersion is one of the most effective ways to learn a new language. Frequent exposure to the target language helps tune your brain to its natural sounds and rhythms. Not only that, it also turns everyday activities into practice opportunities.
But short of moving abroad, how can you immerse your kiddo in their target language? Thankfully there are several ways that require far less effort than jumping on a plane.
Many people who even life abroad still don't become fluent in the language, it isn't an automatic outcome! You can create an immersive language experience at home.
Try labelling objects around the house, watching movies or cartoons in the target language, and exploring books and stories together. By making a language part of your life, you can subconsciously reinforce their skills and build their confidence.
Learn little and often
Anyone who’s learnt a language knows that infrequent hours-long study sessions are not the way to do it. As with any new skill, learning a language requires consistency, and the best way to allow for that is to encourage your kiddo to study little and often.
Establish a regular language learning routine that includes plenty of activities your kiddos enjoy - just like you did when helping them learn their native language. Storybooks, songs, and games are a few of our favorite ways to bring learning to life, but there are plenty of others.
Celebrate small wins
Language learning is a journey filled with ups and downs. Most of us breeze through the lower levels, picking up new words and phrases like we were made for this. But then we reach the plateau, and our progress all but grinds to a halt.
When this happens, your kiddo may well want to give up. Who can blame them? It’s a disappointing place to be. That doesn’t mean you can’t pick them up, though.
Instead of celebrating language progress, try focusing on small wins, like recalling a couple of new words or even just showing up to practice, to motivate them in a different way.
Encourage real-life language practice
It’s awesome if you can encourage your kiddo to use their language skills around the house. But our ideal approach is to combine it with live practice. We recommend following pre-recorded lessons to get that daily dose along with something like our weekly live clubs or private lessons. This allows you to maximise everything your kiddo’s learnt from our mini videos. Language classes are an obvious place for this, as are cultural events and language camps. The sooner they get used to using the language with other people, the easier it will be for them to overcome the hurdle that holds so many adults back.
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