5 strategies to help teach your child a second language
Teaching your child a second language, like English, is not always easy... especially if you don’t excel in the language of Shakespeare yourself. We’re giving you 5 strategies to help your child learn more easily.
But first, remember that fun must come first, because young or old, we learn far more easily when having fun.
Strategy 1: Listen to music
Listen to nursery rhymes and songs: this is a fun way to become familiar with the sounds, vocabulary and syntax of a language.
French nursery rhymes often also exist in English. For example:
- "La ferme à Mathurin" is "Old Macdonald had a farm";
- "Frère Jacques" is "Brother John";
- "Tête, épaules, genoux, orteils" is "Head, shoulders, knees & toes";
- "J’ai perdu le do de ma clarinette" is "I have lost the doh of my clarinet.”
If your child knows a French nursery rhyme well, they will learn the English version more easily and will be able to make the connection between certain words.
Once they grow up and learn to read, you can listen to the songs while reading the lyrics at the same time.
Need some inspiration? Check out a free music website like Spotify or Deezer.
Strategy 2: Watch children's movies and shows
Does your little one devotedly watch Pat’Patrouille every morning? Take advantage of their passion and introduce them to Paw Patrol. Does your child know La reine des neiges by heart? They will easily understand Frozen.
Another great way to learn new vocabulary and train their ear!
Strategy 3: Play everyday
You probably remember playing "Simon says" when you were little... or that game where you hid an object in the house, then guided others by telling them if they were getting "colder” or “warmer.” Well, it's time to play again... in English this time!
You can also choose from a wide variety of English board games. Simply visit a bookstore (French or English) or a toy store to find them.
Strategy 4: Use technology wisely
Although we must limit the exposure time of toddlers to screens, technology can often be helpful. For example, you can download wonderful applications on your tablet or smartphone.
What if your child could learn English by playing on your iPad? Several games are available, each one as fun and educational as the next:
- The Lonely Beast ABC, to learn the alphabet;
- Little Digits, to learn how to count;
- Sight Words, to discover the most used words;
- Pili Pop English (5 to 10 years).
Strategy 5: Get your BiMoo tablecloths
Emotions, the farm, the jungle, vegetables, the sea, the alphabet, numbers, safety and professions... these are the bilingual themes of BiMoo educational tablecloths.
How can you use them to develop your child's vocabulary? Ask them, for example, to:
- Point to the fireman with their toe;
- Tell you what colour the cat is;
- Put their left hand on a red vegetable.
All in English, of course!
You now have 5 strategies to guide your child in learning a second language. There’s no doubt that you will enrich your own knowledge too!