Remember the last time you learnt a new skill or something that you achieved through your own efforts? Maybe it was a sport skill that you needed to practice repeatedly, aware that others around you seemed to perform effortlessly? Or perhaps when your repeated attempts at mastering a process at work finally pay off and you felt exhilarated and (possibly) relieved at the same time.
There is a sense of joy and excitement that makes these efforts worthwhile and improves the way we feel, lifting our mood. Whether it’s learning to tango, or ordering a meal in French, we feel happy when we persist in trying to do something new and we finally experience success.
This happiness comes from the feel-good factor that comes with being rewarded for our efforts. Learning a language has a particularly strong power to make you feel happier as you master the skills. So, learning a new language when you are a child can really boost many aspects of development:
1) It helps the brain to build more connections to supercharge overall development and interaction with others.
2) It can also build the ability to communicate confidently and to overcome language barriers.
As an adult, you are expected to manage your own levels of commitment and perseverance, but for children, we need to create the best possible conditions for their language skills to flourish.
For every child, the sense of achievement and accomplishment they experience when learning new language skills also contributes to their sense of well-being and connectedness to others. When they experience success in recalling, performing, and interacting in their new language, they feel pride and they become more confident in engaging with others.
When your child is being taught by a skilled teacher, they are drawn into activities that encourage communication with others and the learning becomes part of a pleasurable experience that builds strong memories. When choosing a centre for second language development, it is very important to seek out personal recommendations, plus opportunities to question the staff on their teaching methods. Great teachers can identify strengths and build on them, whilst also recognising areas for development.
Children learn best when they are encouraged to be active learners, with the use of games, songs, rhymes, and movement to develop multi-sensory pathways to learning. This is something parents can support at home: Learning doesn’t have to be hard work!
Here is a checklist of points to remember when ensuring your child has the right environment for learning a language in a fun and engaging way:
1. Recall when you found it difficult to persevere in learning a new skill. With that in mind, think about the best ways to help your child to develop a mindset that consistent effort is what brings results and that makes your child feel proud.
2. Learning a new language has a huge impact on general development, including communication and social skills. It builds stronger brain functions.
3. Your child’s sense of well-being grows stronger as they connect with other learners.
4. A skilled teacher is a professional with a passion for their work: Choose wisely.
5. Multi-sensory language learning is fun, memorable and leads to greater success. This principle works for adults too!
We hope you enjoyed this blog. As always, if you would like to book a trial class for Dadi or Otto2, please get in touch.
You may also be interested in reading “Strategies to Improve Social Communication Through Language Activities”.
Developed for Dadi Mandarin and written by WOI.