We live in an increasingly global world. Technology and the internet have connected us together like nothing in the history of humankind. Not since the invention of the telegraph has there been such a huge advance in communications. Being multilingual is not only a very useful skill for conversing with people in other countries, but it may very soon be a vital survival skill to excel in society in general. Learn these four ways that you can teach your child a foreign language, including eBooks featuring multilingual great stories for kids.
The younger a child is when they start, the easier time they have learning multiple languages. The way the brain develops, children pick up multiple languages much earlier in their formative years starting around 10 months of age. If, however, you haven’t started within the first year, beginning around 20 months of age to 2.5 years is a great time to get going. This is when your child starts absorbing new words at a rapid pace.
Foreign Language Classes
If you don’t speak a foreign language but would still like your child to be multilingual, signing them up for a class that is fun, engaging and taught by a native speaker of the second language is a fantastic way to get them going! You might even find that classes are offered for free at local libraries, community centers and the like.
Flash Cards and Exercises at Home
Find some exercises and games you can play at home that will encourage your child to build their bilingual vocabulary. These can include word games, flash cards, websites that emphasize foreign cultures and have multiple language options for viewing, inviting bilingual friends over to converse with your child, even visiting an ethnic grocery store.
Other options can be using picture books and television shows that are geared towards children and presented in foreign languages. Since young children tend to learn language by association, watching shows in Spanish, French or another language can be a natural way for them to pick up the meanings and usage of words.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once your child begins learning a new language, it’s vital to keep those skills current by giving them practice opportunities. Find them playmates who speak the language they are learning. Help them find pen pals from other countries with whom they can converse. The more they practice, the more fluent they will become.
Multilingual Great Stories for Kids
There are tons of great stories for kids that are both classics, immediately recognizable and offered in multiple languages. For example, we offer the classic story of Cinderella as an interactive eBook for free in both English and Spanish versions. If you’re ready to start your child on a world of multiple language fluency, check out our range of free eBooks and the wealth of other language and learning resources we have available today!