The world is getting small. Almost anywhere we go in our own country or when traveling to others, we will hear a myriad of languages being spoken – in the stores, on the streets, at public places like parks and playgrounds, etc. We have all become polyglot nations. Our children, when they become adults, will be living in an even smaller world, and their need to communicate with others who come from all over the globe will only increase. Despite what translation apps they have or professional for business needs, there is just something more personal about being able to communicate verbally, face-to-face.
Children Will Be Motivated When They See Value or Fun
Children aren’t going to be motivated about this talk of their futures. Nor will they get excited about the fact that their brains are much more active and one of the reasons for the question – why kids should start learning languages at early age? So, how do you motivate them to want to learn other languages? Here are four tips that just might work:
Here are four tips that just might work:
- Be a Role Model
Start on a journey to learn a new language yourself. Let your child see you practicing that language online with a native speaker. Ask simple questions or give simple instructions to your child in the new language- make a game of it. When you can instill some curiosity about a new language, you are closer to motivating him to try out a new language himself.
- Get Your Child a Native Internet Pal
There are lots of safe online language exchange websites you can use to pair your child up with an age-appropriate peer whose native language is one you’d like your child to learn. They can teach each other. The other benefit? They come to understand and respect cultural differences. This will be a natural way to develop tolerance and acceptance as they grow into adulthood.
- Use TV and the Internet for Total Immersion
Total immersion means exposing a child to any experience where only a foreign language is spoken. Some schools favor this method when foreign-speaking children enter their institutions. Along with a special class that will help them learn English, they are placed in a regular classroom environment. You can do this on a modified scale.
Find cartoons on television or the Internet that have been produced in foreign languages/countries. Your child will understand what is going on by the actions of the characters, but will also be exposed to the language and culture. And if you do this daily, he will begin to pick up vocabulary. You can then approach the subject of learning that language, so he can understand what those cartoon characters are saying.
- Consider Children’s Foreign Language Classes
There are some great child-oriented foreign language classes both in physical environments and online. These teachers are passionate about their jobs and are well-trained in making learning a language fun for children. As your child becomes more proficient, they can begin to take larger steps. For example, if they are excited about language learning, you can point out all the career opportunities with translation service companies. You may have to look around to find one that your child likes, but it is well worth the time and trouble.
The Goal? Make it Fun!
Anything that your child sees as fun will be a strong motivator. And that is the main goal in getting him excited about learning a foreign language. If you can get him intrigued and curious; if you can pair him up with age-level peers; if you can expose him to other languages in a “fun” environment; and if you can find an exciting class, you will have a child who looks forward to this new learning experience.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Baldridge is a firm believer in learning foreign languages at any age. Being fluent in multiple languages herself, she promotes the benefits in all of her writing and work – as a consultant, a translator, and a blogger.