Children who are fortunate enough to have been given an opportunity in advanced language classes are able to open their mind’s to other cultures and deepen their understanding of the world. It also provides them with various travel and career opportunities when they’re older. However, like any school subject, learning a language doesn’t come naturally to every child. What’s more, as parents, it can be difficult to help your child learn a new language, especially if you don’t speak it yourself. I have teamed up with an independent school near Chorleywood to offer some tips.
Sticking labels to all of the frequently used items around your house in the target language is a great place to start because it will help your child become familiar with these words so that they will eventually be able to incorporate them into sentences. Flash cards are great too and will give your child an opportunity to study with someone else, rather than alone, which is far less tedious. You can hold up the card with the English version of the word facing you and the foreign version facing your child; ask them to tell you what the word means in English. If you aren’t able to do this type of activity with them, perhaps allow them to invite a friend round so that they can practise together.
Watching foreign movies with English subtitles is also another good idea and will allow your child to hear the language spoken in a more conversational manner, rather than just reading it from their revision guides. Eventually, as they become more proficient, they won’t need the subtitles at all. Perhaps you could also consider creating a playlist with various foreign songs. If your child doesn’t recognise a word, they can write it down and look it up later.
There are also a range of educational apps that can be downloaded onto smartphones or tablets. Some of them are free, while the more in-depth versions might cost a bit of money, so make sure to look at the reviews first. These apps are great because they allow your child to practise their language from anywhere and they make it a more interactive and enjoyable experience.
Little and often is the best approach when it comes to learning a language because if they spend two hours studying once a week, they will have forgotten much of what they have learnt by the following week. Fifteen minutes each day would be a better approach in helping them retain the information. If possible, have a chat with your child’s teacher and ask them if they know of any appropriate learning resources that you could use to help your child.