Five tips to help kids learn a language
This article has been written by best-selling author and language expert Paul Noble.
Number One - Study (at least a little) every day
Learning a language is like building a fire - if you don't keep adding to it, it will go out! So if your child has decided to learn a language, try to encourage them to study it every day. It doesn't have to be for a long time though. Just 5 or 10 minutes each day will be enough, so long as they keep it up.
Number Two - Stop while they're still enjoying it
Although studying every day is important, it's also important to make sure your child doesn't overdo it! So, if they're not really in the mood, just encourage them to fit in 5 minutes. If they are in the mood though, don't push them too hard. Stop before you get to the point where it doesn't feel fun any longer. Best to leave them feeling hungry for more rather than bloated and fed up!
Number Three - Use "hidden moments"
A famous American language learner, Barry Farber, learned more than ten languages during the 'hidden moments' he found in everyday life. These hidden moments might include the time he would spend waiting for the buss or waiting in line or just stuck somewhere bored. These hidden moments would otherwise have been useless but, for someone learning a language, they can be some of the most useful minutes of the day.
Number Four - If they haven't been encouraged at school, let them know this...
Sometimes we're told at school that we're not particularly 'gifted' at languages, that we didn't have a 'knack' for them. Well if this happened to your child, then please reassure them that this is all absolute nonsense! If they can speak English then they've already proven they capable of learning a language - and this means their brain is just as capable of learning another - it just needs to be approached in the right way!
Number Five - Choose the right language
If you're going to encourage your child to learn a language, help them to choose a language that they're going to have a chance to use. So, where do you like to go on holiday? Is there a particular language they need to learn for school? Consider these things carefully - because they are going to play an important role in keeping them motivated.
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