In this day and age, speaking just one language is simply not enough. Experts claim that over 40% of people are bilingual and speak two languages fluently. Having this ability isn’t just great for your mental capacities – because handling two languages at the same time forces your brain to work on a higher level – but it’s highly practical as well. This is particularly true for the generations that are young and are supposed to spend their entire lives in a world that’s getting more and more competitive. If you’d like to give your kids a head start, you should encourage them to learn a second language, and here’s how you can do that easily and effortlessly.
Start as soon as possible
Surrounding your kids with two languages while they’re still young is probably the best way to make them bilingual. It’s all about acquiring language and not learning it – there’s a major difference between these two things, and that’s something lots of parents don’t know. The latter option is actually a much easier and more natural process that will give your loved ones a chance to start speaking both of these languages fluently.
The way to help your child acquire two languages simultaneously is to start as soon as possible and stay consistent. Talk to them using both of these languages, and start doing so from the moment they’re born. Most parents don’t do this because they fear they’ll confuse their kids, but the truth is quite the opposite – this process will do wonders for their brain, and they’ll love you for it when they grow up.
Make a plan
Kids who are raised by bilingual parents usually grow up to be bilingual themselves, and that’s the most natural thing in the world. If you use both languages every single day and do so properly and fluently, your children won’t even know there’s a difference between these two linguistic systems, but they’ll be able to speak both languages perfectly.
But, what if just one parent is bilingual, or none of them? This doesn’t mean your child has to suffer, of course, but it means you’re going to have to make a detailed plan and know what you’re doing. If one parent is fluent in a language other than their mother tongue, that parent should talk to the child in that other language more frequently, while the parent who is monolingual should stick to their first language. This will give the child an opportunity to acquire both languages, and that’s something all parents are hoping for.
Get some help
Doing all of this on your own is neither easy nor simple, and not all parents are up for those kinds of experiments and hard work. That’s why they need to get some help and talk to a professional who can help them understand why this process is so important for their child. They also need to learn how to transfer their knowledge to their kids, thus becoming language teachers themselves.
If this isn’t an option, you might consider educational centers where linguistic experts work with kids who wish to become bilingual. Depending on the age of your child, there are lots of techniques these people use, and finding the right approach is always crucial. This is an idea you might consider too, so look into reliable centers such as the amazing Monkey Tree in Hong Kong, and you’ll help your child learn a new language in a better and more professional way than you could ever do it at home.
Travel as much as you can
Even though most parents don’t see this as the best learning experience in the world, you’d be surprised to learn how much travelling can do for your children. They’ll get a chance to spend some time in a new culture and surrounded by a new language, and that’s something you can’t put a price on. This opportunity will show them how other people live and how exciting another language can be, thus inspiring them to try to learn it when they get back home.
It goes without saying that this sort of inspiration rarely comes from a short trip abroad, but that’s not impossible. However, if you really wish to encourage your kids to learn a second language, staying somewhere for a couple of months might not be such a bad idea. This will give your children enough time to fall in love with a new language and actually start learning and using it even before coming back home.
This may sound like the simplest language learning method in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s inefficient. On the contrary, these simple activities can do more for your child’s linguistic abilities than you can realize. The only thing you have to do is find the games your child is going to love, and then continue repeating them day after day.
Luckily, there are lots of games you can look into. From simple word repetitions to complex language connections, these are the things your child is going to love. What’s even better is that these games are great for adults as well, so you can enjoy them with your loved ones too.
Teaching your kids a second language is a hard and complex process, but it’s definitely worth your time and effort. You’ll do them a great favour, so try to be as patient and persistent as you can.