All over the world, speaking two (or more) languages is the norm, not the exception! It is more important than ever for our children to be able to communicate and understand multiple languages. Here, as parents, is how we can help them in this learning process:
- Listen to music and sing songs in English.🎹
- Read in both languages (every day).📚
- Watch a series in English.📺
- Choose educational andgames that help with learning English.🧩
- Label objects in the house.🏠
- Holiday camps that emphasize bilingualism.🏕️
(@Canva / Bilingual child)
Languages improve your child's brain. Research confirms the benefit for children in learning more than one. Being bilingual is good for your child's bral development. It improves one's memory and encourages flexibility of thought. In some cases, bilingualism also allows for a connection to extended family, culture and history.For a young child, learning a language involves individual interestsé. There are repeated, fun and engaging opportunities to build language through play, songs and books. These are high-quality, high-quantity experiences that enable the child to acquire strong language skills. Learning English has become a necessity for a better future in France or abroad!
LISTEN TO MUSIC AND SING SONGS IN ENGLISH
When children listen to music from other cultures, they are exposed to new ideas and experiences outside of their normal everyday lives. Exposing them to the sounds, rhythm and intonation of different languages helps them distinguish between sounds, which is an important part of language acquisition. Listening to the sounds of other languages encourages concentration and the practice of active listening. Additionally, listening to music from another culture is a great way to experience the idea that we live in a diverse world with people of all kinds of backgrounds and values. Children focus on similarities with others rather than differences. Everywhere, people dance, sing, rhyme and have fun with the music, just like them.
(@Canva / Listen to music)
READ IN BOTH LANGUAGES (every day)
First of all, whether or not to learn English, reading is fun and crucial for our little ones.It doesn't matter if you read slowly or start slowly. Reading in a foreign language does great things for a child's mind. We can never say it enough: when you introduce a new language to a child, you open the world to them. So when you teach him to read in English for example, his brain opens up to so much new information. Not only will he have a larger imagination, but he will have a larger vocabulary in another language.
(@Canva / Dad Reading)
When your child learns to read in another language, he or she will be more comfortable than a child who is only taught spoken language. Understanding the spelling, grammar and syntax of another language is another level for a child. So, even if your child has learned phrases or conversation skills by talking with you and family members, it is even more beneficial for him to know how to read. Give him the opportunity to be more successful. They will have more advantages at both school and in professional life if they can read English.
WATCH A SERIES IN ENGLISH
One of the main benefits of watching movies or TV series in another language is improving vocabulary. Learning English then becomes a real pleasure! You can recognize words while you watch, and this will strengthen youremorization. A scientific experiment, conducted by J. Birules-Muntane and S. Soto-Farasco in 2016 at Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona, showed an increase in language skills and listening skills after watching just one hour of a TV series . Spanish-speaking students took a listening and vocabulary test before watching an hour-long television series in English, and then another test afterward. On average, the listening results before watching were 43.33% and after 60.21%, indicating a huge increase. In addition, the results for vocabulary were 62% before and 68% after. An even more effective way to study a language by watching a movie or series is to use Language Learning with Netflix (LLN). This is a Chrome extension, developed by David Wilkinson and Ognjen Apic, that allows viewers to watch a TV show with subtitles in the original language and in English. The show automatically pauses to allow the viewer to process what they have just heard and allow their brain to process the information contained in the subtitles. LLN helps viewers learn a language by watching two translations at the same time so they can compare and understand it.
(@Canva / English TV Series & popcorn)
CHOOSE GAMES THAT HELP LEARN ENGLISH
Let your children learn English while playing! Playtime is the perfect time to introduce a new language to your children.Play is an essential element of child development, which is universally shared by all children. It contributes to all aspects of being human.Play is the primary occupation of preschoolers and should be viewed as a neural-building activity rather than just a way to pass the time. So it’s time to double down!! Play time for learning English.
- letter games allowing them to acquire a large catalog of basic words in English. Many educational games are designed with this in mind, such as the ABC GAME™.
(@L'Enfant Malin / English word games)
- The pronunciation exercises are vital for the child's understanding and oral ability. Intonations are very important when learning a language but very fun solutions like Speak-Easy™ are available. This andeducational game asks children to répéter to test their pronunciation. Speaking to learn English is easy!
(@L'Enfant Malin / Interactive card reader in English )
- Letter games, such as Scrabble, allow children to gain vocabulary while memorizing the spelling of words. You can find level games suitable for little ones like LitteScrabble™.
Activities with a clear beginning, middle and end are also very interesting. Games like wooden puzzles, shape sorters, stacking rings and simple sorting activities.
LABELING OBJECTS IN THE HOUSE
This tip, watch like Herod, is more intended for children aged 4 to 8 years old. Putting labels on objects they see regularly is a great way to help them memorize new words in English (or another language of course).
Label objects such as the refrigerator, mirror, furniture, appliances, electronics and toys. If you're not a native speaker yourself, this is a convenient way for you too to pick up new words in English!
(@Canva / Trade show and labeling in English)
Just like us children have a practical mind, it is much easier to remember a word designating a useful thing (rice, fork, sofa, toothbrush, etc.).Avoid letting them sit quietly at a table to learn, learning happens “by living”! Everyone will then be able to practice everywhere: in a seasonal rental, at the supermarket... and the children, happy to master these first words in English almost effortlessly, will be in a good position to fully tackle learning the language.
In the same spirit there is also the PocketVocab™ another quick, transportable and practical way to accumulate words in English for our little darlings.
(@L'Enfant Malin/ Flashcards for children's vocabulary )
VACATION CAMPS THAT FOCUS ON BILINGUALISM
Participating in a language camp can probably be one of the most memorable experiences for a child. Not only does this mean not staying at home for days on end during school holidays, but also meeting children from different cultures, opening their minds to other ways of doing things and spending time with new people in the language camps.
What if, on top of all that, they could learn a language while having fun? This is exactly what language camps are for: to experience all of the above while gaining confidence in their second language. The great thing is that they use it in a natural way, just to communicate and bond, so it doesn't seem forced.
(@Canva / Fun language camps )
🏕️Language camps to learn a language but not only!
⭐ To make new friends:
When you're surrounded by kids from everywhere and the only way to communicate is by making facial expressions or trying to speak a second language, you're probably going to do the two. Learning English will be a nénecessityé for him. And he’ll have a lot of fun doing it! Camps are a fantastic place where children can meet other children their age and have fun group activities.
(@Canva / Making friends )
⭐ To keep practicing:
Holidays are a necessity for children, but the only problem is that they don't have the opportunity to put into practice everything that they have learned over the past few months. But are you going to give them homework? No way ! Camps are the perfect way for them to continue practicing a second language without feeling like they're still in school.
⭐ For a positive association:
There's a big difference between trying to remember 60 words in English and going on an expedition to discover elements of nature in a second language. Camps encourage natural language acquisition, and children learn without even realizing it!
⭐ For new games:
Don't be surprised if your child comes to see you after camp and asks you to play a game in another language! During camp, they will learn several activities that they will love and want to repeat. Don't let this opportunity go to waste and continue playing with them, and see if you can add more games as they become more proficient! Not only is it a great way to spend quality time with your child, but it's also a way to get involved in their learning process. Sometimes it can even help you learn a new language :).
(@ Canva / Quality time with dad)
The 3 characteristics of a child-friendly English learning program
Afterès listing the options we will look at the three most important features of a program suitable for children to learn English. Think of them as three legs of a stool that support each other equally.
A language learning program suitable for children is very interactiveé. It engages the senses and imagination and makes children an important part of the learning process.
When dealing with children, a purely passive lecture course is not effective. They can barely sit still, let alone keep their eyes on the lesson. The attention span is short and it is therefore necessary to multiply the activities to maintain the children's interest in the lesson.
(@ Canva / Bored little child)
A child-friendly program gives them something to do - with their hands, their eyes, their imagination. He doesn't expect them to go through everything without making a fuss.
Children do not view language learning as a linguistic goal composed of words and sentences. They see it as an activity - a game, a dance, a song or an audiovisual experience. They engage in the experience and forget that they are already learning the language.
I'm sure you've asked your child to do something they don't want to do. You give him food, for example, and he doesn't open his mouth, resisting you every time. Then you start to be creative. You transform this little spoon into an airplane, which somersaults in the air. Sometimes it's a train that goes into his mouth "choo-choo-choo-".
Memorizing a list of words on a sheet of paper is also an activity. But it's far from creative. When dealing with children, a program must rise to their level of creativity and imagination. We're talking bright colors, moving objects, talking animals, cartoon characters, changing settings, rescue missions, etc.
(@ Canva / Creativity and being creative)
Suddenly, your child is no longer just learning numbers, he is counting gold coins in English so he can buy the flying pony that will allow him to save the princess. And when he finishes saving her, he meets her family - the king, a few turbulent uncles - and learns the family vocabulary along the way. It’s an activity, and a creative activity!
They say that variety is the salt of life. If you always do the same thing, the novelty wears off quickly. It's no longer a challenge. It becomes a chore.
Children will be interested in the material only if there is something new, unexpected.
(@ Canva / Offer variety)
They don't care whether they learn the language lessons you want them to learn or not. They don't plan for the future by saying to themselves: "Being bilingual will increase my value at work.“They are in the present and ask themselves: “What’s in it for me right now?”
If you want to please your child in a completely different way, don’t hesitate don't read our article on one of the current construction games: Magnet-me™.
Learning English is like any other skill, it takes practice and time.Give your child the opportunity to hear and practice both languages, especially in everyday situations. Our list of 6 recommendations to help your children is not exhaustive. The important thing for them is to practice while having fun. To do this, don't forget the 3 fundamental principles for a better learning program: intéreactivityé, créativité and variété !
We have triedé to write you the most complete article possible on "How to learn English from a young age?". We hope that you have found ideas and, above all, solutions to help your child learn this language which is so important these days. Don't hesitate to to subscribe to the L'Enfant Malin Newsletter to receive free of charge all the articles and advice to bebe an even better parent.
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