Learning an additional language requires commitment and patience, but is truly worthwhile. It demonstrates hard work and can help children leverage exciting opportunities in the future. Here are a few tips from a private school in London parents can utilise to make the process easier.
Practice, Practice, Practice
To master any new skill, regular practice is vital. This is particularly true for learning a new language as of course there’s an entirely new vocabulary and rules that must be learned. According to research, the time taken to be confident and proficient in a new language is 600-750 hours.
Find a Summer Break
Had enough of the gloomy grey skies? After the long academic year, a summer holiday is well deserved. It can give your child the opportunity to broaden their horizons, experience new cultures and perhaps even learn a new language on their travels. Before going away you can take time to learn a few handy phrases and build on their language skills once out there.
Make It a Family Effort
If you’re up for a challenge, why not turn it into a family effort and all try learning a new language together? You will be able to support and motivate each other along your journey and all gain an impressive set of skills.
You can also have days where you are all banned from speaking in English and must talk in the language you’re learning.
Consider Teaching Them Your Own Language
If you already know a second language (or even a third), you’re at a huge advantage as you can teach your child yourself. Start by introducing them to a few new words, drop them into conversation and gradually expand their vocabulary from there.
Alternatively, you might want an actual tutor or coach for your child. Teaching isn’t for everyone so you may prefer this route. It will give your child set commitments to meet and in turn the necessary practice required. A self-paced course can equally help your child as they can receive formal lessons and go over them as many times as necessary.
Children’s Shows in a Foreign Language
But learning independently is completely doable. Children can learn new languages while watching TV and reading the subtitles. Gradually as they hear words repeated and see the content they are used in, your child will develop an understanding of what they mean. Pronunciation can also be a difficult thing to master so hearing others speak the language on TV can help them to talk clearly and in a way that others will understand.
If you’re choosing to learn as a family, take the opportunity to test your child on what they have learnt as this will ensure that what they are learning makes sense and will give you the chance to help them where they are struggling.
A Study Abroad Programme
Finally, if you have the means and your child is not afraid of spending some time away from home, why not consider a study abroad programme? Not only will they have the chance to learn another language while being abroad, but your child will get to fully experience the culture and gain an understanding of what it’s like to live there. Being away from home builds confidence and independence so it can benefit your child all-round.
We’d like to conclude this post by reminding you that learning a new language can be tough as it involves a complete adjustment and covering a lot of ground. Be mindful that you’re not putting too much pressure on your child, and take things at their pace while maintaining some sort of structure and consistency with regards to their lessons.