We live in a globalized world, which means that knowledge of a second or third language (with English being one of them) has gone from being a “plus” to becoming a “must” in today’s job market. This leads to parents being increasingly concerned about introducing their children to new languages. It may take some extra effort at first, but there are a few simple strategies parents can incorporate in their day-to-day lives to expose their children to new languages and help grant them the opportunity to acquire full fluency in the future.
There are countless ways to spark a child’s interest in learning a new language. The key is to make sure the process is natural and fun for the child so they do not associate it as a chore but as entertainment. Parents should put in time and effort, but should also leverage technology and online resources to facilitate the learning process.The human brain forms more neural connections in the first four years of life than in any other developmental stage and these connections are crucial for determining linguistic and cognitive capacity. The ease at which children are able to immerse themselves into a new linguistic context is one of the reasons why it is strongly recommended to encourage them to learn a second language as early as possible.
- Expose kids to the new language as early as possible
- Story books which stimulate the senses to allow for deeper interaction with the language
- Educational apps designed specifically for early learners are a great tool since they combine learning with play, making the process as effortless and natural as possible
- Parents can encourage their kids to speak with locals, like ordering a meal at a restaurant or telling the taxi driver where they are going in the second language