Ways To Encourage Kids to Start Learning A Foreign Language At A Young Age

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Do you realize children can potentially understand a foreign language when you get them started early? Doctor Erika Levy, an assistant professor of speech and language pathology, at Columbia University Teachers College in New York City. She clearly shows that youngsters 2 to 4 years old “are developing language skills rapidly” and soak up every little thing they hear like sponges

She says as long as your children are busy building their natural language skills, this is the perfect time to pick up a second language. Adults have a more difficult time learning a foreign language because they have developed the vocabulary they need for their first language by the time they hit their teen years. The following tips will encourage your children to learn a second language while they are young, when they are naturally inclined to do so.

Start early

In a communicative environment, kids learn to speak more than 2,000 basic words by the time they reach 4 years of age. One and a half or 2 years old is never too early to start successfully learning a second language.

Teach 1 or 2 words at a time

Get your child used to learning, writing, recognizing and speaking 1 or 2 new foreign words a day. It is easier for their young minds to learn and understand a small number of words at once.

Cover all 4 aspects of language development

Reading, writing, listening and speaking are the 4 areas of language communication. When you read, write, hear and speak anything, you have a much greater chance of understanding and remembering it. The same is true with children, especially at a very young age.

Learn a foreign language yourself

Teach by doing. Learn a little bit of a foreign language and surprise your child with your knowledge. Then the two of you can learn together, developing an important bond as you both grow your communication skills.

Teach bilingual numbers, colors and shapes

Some of the most effective foreign language courses use visualization to teach words. Children and adults remember something much better if they see it. While your child is a toddler, teach foreign-language words for colors, shapes, numbers and the alphabet just as you do with their natural language.

Plan a vacation to a foreign speaking country

Do you really want to encourage your child to “want” to learn a foreign language? Taking a trip to a foreign country provides for a wonderful family vacation, and might be just the nudge your child needs to pursue a second language.