Sunday, 12 July 2020

Home Education: Ideas and Tools to for Foreign Language Learning

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you already know that I’ve been homeschooling my children for over two years now. Some studies have shown that children tend to learn a lot and much faster in an environment where they are most comfortable, which also includes their home. Even if you choose to send your kids to regular school, it’s still a good idea to take advantage of the time when the children are home to impart extra knowledge, like learning a new language for example.

Like all areas of study, teaching a child a new language can be challenging. However, the following tools are bound to make the task easier and the learning process fun.

1. Language apps

There are several language apps in the market from which you can choose, depending on the language you want to teach. The apps can be very instrumental as they provide lesson plans, vocal and non-vocal tools for learning. Language apps come in handy, especially when it comes to lessons like pronunciation, which you may not be good at. With a language app, you do not need to have background knowledge of the language before teaching. This means that both you and your child can learn a new language. An example of a remarkable language app is Babbel. Owing to the positive Babbel reviews, it is, without a doubt, one of the best language apps in the market. Through the app, your child can learn the basics like greetings, colours, shapes, counting, and other basics.

2. Movies

After introducing your child to the basics of the language, it would also be a good idea to try foreign movies. The movies can have subscripts in them to foster better understanding. Through movies, you get to teach your child pronunciation and how sentences are constructed. The movies will also help take away the boredom of learning from home. It can act as a filler activity as well as a learning tool.

3. Music

Music is an incredible tool for making language learning enjoyable. Note that children tend to grasp more knowledge when they are having fun. The best kind of music for leaning a foreign language would be nursery rhymes and other songs that the child can sing along to. Make sure your child understands what the song is about. For instance, for a Chinese nursery rhyme, you can make sure that the child notes the items that are mentioned in the song. You can, therefore, use music to introduce new vocabulary and phrases.

4. YouTube

YouTube is a powerful source of information. You can always find music, courses, and cartoons in the foreign language of your choice. If you cannot find other sources for learning materials like music, you can always turn to YouTube. Note that kids also tend to learn better when there are visuals involved. For instance, a kid will remember a scene from their favourite movie and forget a verbal lesson taught in class. Make sure to use the platform to get a wide range of fun learning materials, including your child’s favourite cartoon in the foreign language. For instance, popular cartoons like Spongebob are available on YouTube in various languages.

5. Invite friends that are fluent in another language

It would also help if you exposed your child to people that can speak the foreign language that you are teaching. For instance, if you are teaching your child Spanish, you can have some Spanish friends or family visit and speak the language to your child. If you are also fluent, you can converse with your friends in the language and show your child that it is doable and fun.

6. Explore foreign cuisines

It would be wise if you also introduced your child with foods from the culture whose language you are teaching. It is a nice way to teach your child the names of the foods and introduce them to new vocabulary by reading labels and recipes.

It is always wise to expose your child to a new language at a young age. At that age, they tend to learn faster and easier. It also helps them improve their problem-solving abilities and creativity as well. It also allows them to connect with other cultures.  

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