How to Teach Children a New Language
Learning a new language can be exciting, especially if you share the experience with your loved ones. There are many reasons why people would want to teach a language to children – it could be that they are an educator such as a teacher or a homeschooling parent and that learning a new language is part of the child’s curriculum.
It could also be that you want to move somewhere or go on a holiday in a foreign country and that you think it would benefit your child if they were able to speak the language of the place you will be going.
Whatever the reason, you need to understand that teaching a child a new language can be challenging. That being said, there are a few things that can make it easier, and this post is here to share a few.
Choose a language and get the right study materials
The first thing you will need to do is decide which language you will be teaching the child. In some cases, you won’t have much of a choice – for example, if you are moving to France, teaching your child to speak French would clearly be the best option.
However, in an educational environment, especially a homeschooling one, you may have a few options.
You can decide which language to teach the child based on what you think would be best for the child, or you can ask them what they would prefer to learn – they are likely to learn a new language faster if they are interested in it. Once you’ve settled on which language you will be teaching them, it’s time to get started on gathering a variety of study materials that can help. Have a look at these Spanish teaching materials if you want to teach a child Spanish.
Make a schedule
The problem with learning a new language is often that people don’t make time for it. Your child likely won’t want to learn a new language out of their own free will, and even if they do, they may not stick to it.
You need to be the one to carve out time to help them learn a language, whether this is setting up a teaching schedule if you are educating them formally, or simply making some time each day to sit down and help them learn the language. Keep in mind, however, that you also need to make time for yourself.
You may want to skip ahead or throw the child into the deep end, but you need to understand that the way children learn a language is different from how adults do.
They often go more on an intuitive basis, so don’t get frustrated if they make many mistakes. You may need to repeat one thing many times before they understand it, but starting small and slowly building up their knowledge of a language will help them gain a deeper understanding of it.
As mentioned, children learn languages differently than adults do, which means that an aspect of language may seem simple to you, but be hard for your child to grasp.
You need to be patient with them, and you certainly should never get angry or upset if they struggle with something. It’s important to take care of your child’s mental health, so if you are a frustrated parent trying to teach their child a language and you notice it’s affecting your relationship with them, it may be best to have a tutor teach them instead.
Figure out their learning style
Different children may also find things easier or harder to learn depending on the method you are using to teach them.
Some children are audio learners and may pick up a language faster if they hear it spoken. However, others may prefer a visual learning style, in which case pictures or flashcards may help them understand a language better. If you are homeschooling your child, you should embrace their learning style in all subjects, not just languages.
Teaching a child a new language can be incredibly rewarding for both you and them, but there’s no denying that it can be hard and that it can cause a lot of frustration on both ends.
Of course, if you are a teacher, you likely know exactly how to go about teaching children a new language, but parents may have a bit more trouble, whether they are teaching their child a language for their homeschooling or for personal reasons. However, there are a few things that may make it easier, so hopefully, this post gave you some ideas on how to improve your teaching method.