There’s some great reasons to consider raising your child to be multi-lingual, even if you don’t speak another language yourself. Whether you’re considering placing your little one in French Immersion come fall, or simply want your older child to pick up a new skill, here’s some great ways to get started right now over the summer:
For younger children:
Start with the ABC’s and numbers! No matter what language you want to teach your child in, you’ll be able to find the fundamentals online. Whether you want to pick up Pinyin, or just teach your child to be fluent in Canada’s second language, check out YouTube for some fun songs to sing along with. Music helps memorization, and makes things way more fun.
Grab the post-its and label objects around the house. The whole family can get into the game with this one. Ask everyone to ask for labeled objects in the other language. You’ll only have to get someone to ask for un banane once before the giggles set in and they’re happy to play along. For Latin-based languages that have genders attached to objects, you can take the additional step of making it easier to remember male or female nouns with simple colour coding.
Grab a colouring book. This is a great way to introduce the names for colours and other items that aren’t so common inside the household, like animals, larger objects, and places.
For older children:
Pick up the comics. Did you know you can find Garfield in French? The humour of simple comics like Garfield is much easier to follow along with for readers who are new to a language, without neglecting important elements of grammar and sentence structure. There will be enough situations to encourage a reader to pick up a dictionary to look up a word without it feeling overwhelming.
Check out Duolingo. For any language at all, Duolingo is a great place for older kids to start. You may have already seen the memes about Duolingo, which sends reminders to people when they haven’t practiced in a while. Even though kids may joke about the Owl coming to get them, the truth is that people respond well to the way Duolingo encourages people to continue. And it’s a wonderful program. Unlike many, free programs, Duolingo tests reading, writing, hearing and speaking (if you have a mic).
We hope that everyone is having a safe and happy summer, and that they are still getting lots of learning in!
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