Find Your Location
Rhee Helliwell | Jan 16, 2017

Helping your child learn a second language

Categories: Teens, Education, Children, Tips, Performance

Being bilingual has so many benefits, which is why it’s such a valuable skill for any child to learn. However, learning another language can be tricky, so kids need as much encouragement as possible to master it. At Tutor Doctor we know that a parent’s attitude towards learning is crucial to a child’s success. That’s why we’ve put together some ways that you can support learning a language at home and help your child become fluent in no time.

Help your child make time to practice

A new language certainly can’t be learnt overnight and needs to be practiced. Helping your child set aside time every week for them to continue learning a foreign language is crucial for their success. Ensure they schedule in two or three 1-hour sessions a week at home, where they can either study solo or you can work with them. This dedicated study time will make sure they are constantly applying themselves and exercising using a second language. If your child doesn’t have this time, it may be easy for them to feel disheartened, as they will probably find they aren’t making any progress or are struggling to remember the vocabulary learnt.

Say a phrase every day!

Ask your child to say something to you in the second language they are studying every single day. Even if it is just a simple sentence, speaking it out loud will be sure to help them grasp new phrases and vocabulary much easier. As well as getting them to speak it out loud, also encourage them to explain exactly what they said to you.

Ask teachers for learning resources

Asking your child’s teacher for learning resources that can be used for language practice at home is a great way to always have suitable material to hand. This can include videos, books or flashcards. After all, memorisation is key, so anything that will help your kids remember the most common words and phrases easily is bound to help.

Utilise technology: Apps and Online

Alongside physical resources, utilising what technology has to offer is an innovative way to encourage learning a second language. As kids might have a short attention span, fun and interactive language games and apps are a helpful learning tool that can be used during study sessions or when the kids are bored at the weekend. Downloading and installing any software or apps onto your electronic devices will mean that your child can practice developing their language skills at any time!

Watch a TV show/movie in another language

Finding a cartoon or movie that interests your child and getting them to watch it in the language they’re studying is a fantastic way for them to learn without realising it. You can also change the settings to add subtitles, so make sure you pop these on beforehand. Exposing them to another language in this way is sure to help them come on leaps and bounds as well as develop their listening and comprehension skills.

Look for opportunities outside the classroom

Keeping an eye on language opportunities for your child outside the classroom is a fun way for them to learn in a new environment. For younger children look out for after-school clubs or international events in your local community. Not only will there be opportunities for them to practice and learn but the event might even inspire them to develop their capabilities even further. For older kids, openings to study abroad are often available and will provide your child with vital life experience as well as hugely develop their language and cultural skills.