How to help your child learn a new language

You don’t have to be bilingual to help your child learn a second language; there are other ways you can demonstrate your support and assist with their learning without necessarily being skilled in that particular subject. It’s certainly wise not to dismiss your child’s language lessons in school as a secondary subject, because they’re actually very beneficial in many ways. I have teamed up with a prep school in London to share some ideas on how you can help your child learn a new language. 

Stick post-it notes all around the house

One way to help your child learn new vocabulary is to encourage them to label frequently used items around the house, such as the front door, the fridge, and their bed. Go crazy with post-it notes and remind your child to read them aloud whenever they see them. Eventually, they will remember these words without needing the stick-it notes, and they will be able to incorporate them into sentences. 

Make use of cue cards

Cue cards are another great way to achieve this. Write the English version of a word on one side and the foreign translation on the other and then hold them up so that your child can only see one side. Ask them to tell you what the foreign alternative is on the other side. Swap which sides your child can see each time. Having you there to support them with this mode of study will make the experience more enjoyable, as studying alone can be very tedious. 

Watch films in different languages

Other ways you can support your child in their pursuit to learning a new language is to encourage them to watch foreign films (with subtitles at first) and listen to foreign music. This will help them become more familiar with how the language is used in full sentences and even in conversations, rather than just reading words out of context. There are also lots of apps and games your child could play to help them with their learning.

Less is more…

When it comes to learning a language, little and often is the best approach. If your child spends 15 minutes each evening practising the language, they will be far more likely to retain it than if they spend a couple of hours once a week.

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