5 Steps to Teaching a Second Language to Your Children

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There are many ways with a lot of resources to teach your children a second language.

Steps to Teaching a Second Language to Your Children

5 Steps to Teaching a Second Language to Your Children

1. Do your research. If you start teaching your child a second language, you should receive a lot of support, but especially if you start when they are in the young age – you will also face criticism. Many people still think that teaching another language to very young children will confuse them and delay the development of speech in their mother tongue. Be assured that this is not the case. Although there are many myths about bilingual children, experts agree that their speech development is perfectly normal, only slightly different than monolingual children. And the benefits you will bring to your child are enormous, so make sure you know the facts when you are facing negative persons.

2. Take stock. How well do you know a second language? Evaluate your level of knowledge to choose the best method to teach your child:

a. Help! I do not know another language! First of all, do not despair! The main ingredients for success are the desire and willingness to make an effort. Some parents who speak another language never bother to teach their children, while others who speak little other than English manage to raise children who are bilingual. It will require more work and time, but it can be done!

B. Well, I studied a foreign language back at school. Great! Even if your skills are rusty, you still have an advantage. So to review what you learned in high school, and jump right! Teaching your child will be a great motivation to dust off those old books (or find new online resources).

C. I speak another language fluently. You have the opportunity to pass on this valuable knowledge to your child. That does not mean it will be easy. Many native speakers struggle to maintain the interest of their children when surrounded by a sea of English (or another language of the majority). But trust, that other have overcome this obstacle and have found a method that works for them. Many native speakers struggle to maintain the interest of their children when surrounded by a sea of English (or another language of the majority). But trust, that other have overcome this obstacle and have found a method that works for them. Many native speakers struggle to maintain the interest of their children when surrounded by a sea of English (or another language of the majority). But trust, that other have overcome this obstacle and have found a method that works for them.

3. Choose a method

Each family is different, so what works for one family may not work for another. Beyond your knowledge of another language, keep in mind the environment in which you live. Are there many other speakers of the language you have chosen?

With all this in mind, here are some standard methods of teaching another language that you can consider:

a. Limits of language

This method involves speaking the second language with your child, in particular, situations (for example, when going to sleep). The language boundary method can work well if you find it difficult to speak another language to your child all the time, either because they are not fluent or because you do not have the support of other speakers.

B. One-parent language

This is the method we have chosen in our home. In this method, each parent speaks to the child exclusively in one language. (Thus, for example, the mother addresses the children only in English, and the father speaks to them only in Spanish). A major advantage of this method is that it helps to avoid any confusion between the two languages. It works especially well if you and your spouse are native language speakers.

C. Minority Languages in the Home

This is another popular method, in which only the second language is spoken at home. This method fights a major problem in teaching another language, which is that children tend to speak the language that is most common in culture, even if they understand another language. For example, The Father can speak to the children only in Spanish, and the children respond in English since this is the language that hears most during the day.

These are just the most popular methods, so if it does not work for you, you can investigate until you find a good one.

4. Start early and be consistent.

The sooner you can start exposing your child to learn a foreign language; it’s better. Young children are like sponges, not only mentally, but socially. As they grow up, many children are more influenced by their peers than their parents and thus resist learning another language if it is not common among their friends. When you start young, you can establish a good foundation before you decide that it is not “cool,” so that when you are even older and realize how great it is, Which will already be ahead of the game.

5. Take advantage of resources.

There are so many excellent resources out there these days for multilingual families. It is relatively easy to find bilingual books, including those of non-mastered people. There are also fantastic movies and online resources to teach another language; You can also search free online classes.

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