Most parents believe that learning a second language can really help their child get ahead in life, providing them, as young learners, with opportunities to develop their social, interactive and communication skills, and becoming more aware of other cultures. In the longer term, it is also seen as adding value to college applications and CV’s and career opportunities. So, the sooner children start to learn a second language, the more they will perceive this as a natural part of their education , plus it lays the foundations for acquiring further languages more effectively.
As we all adapt to the current changes in our daily lives, it’s increasingly important to nurture a child’s future as a global citizen, where they are able to switch between languages with confidence and ease. Global citizens, with skills in adaptability and flexibility, are well-positioned to thrive in uncertain times, and their understanding of other cultures puts them at ease regardless of their location and situation.
What the Experts Say:
1. Commit to daily practice between lessons and build short sessions into your child’s schedule. Practice really does help to embed new skills and makes learning as much a part of daily life as brushing their teeth. This is much more effective than an extended session at home once a week. While gaining fluency in a second language can challenging, forming a sentence in another language can help build resilience, as well as a real sense of achievement.
2. Reading short story books in the language they are learning is a great way to interact with your child and show your love of learning as well. Why not set up a local swap shop with other parents to share resources?
3. If possible, try using screen time to watch a cartoon in the language of choice, as you may be surprised to see how quickly children absorb new vocabulary and acquire some insight into other cultures at the same time. There are also studies that connect brain development to language learning.
4. As technology continues to diversify and underpin so many aspects of our lives, we can harness its power to make language learning interactive and immersive, whilst at the same time not becoming over-reliant on the digital teacher. Children learn most
effectively when they are involved in communicating with others, and have access to a wide range of experiences.
5. Model diversity by maximizing your child’s exposure to different cultures. Develop opportunities to meet people, try new and unusual foods, and play with toys from different cultures.
Making sure that the young generation grows up with an open and tolerant view of the world, is critical to the future world. In this sense, it’s never too young to develop a global citizen mindset, and, by supporting your child in their bi-lingual efforts, you are starting them on their global adventure.
We hope you enjoyed this blog. Stay tuned next week for our next edition. 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 How Better Sleep Helps Improve Your Child’s Learning. Developed for Dadi Mandarin and written by WOI.