By Geralde Vincent-Bancroft
As a parent, you want your child to excel in every aspect of their life – including their foreign language education.
If you’re teaching your child a foreign language, you might be wondering how you can help them build up their vocabulary. Although some children are natural language learners and seem to absorb new words effortlessly, others need a little more guidance and encouragement. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do at home to supplement your child’s foreign language vocabulary learning and give them a boost in expanding their knowledge.
Here are 10 ways to do just that.
1- Start with the basics.
Make sure your child has a strong foundation by teaching them common words and phrases that they’ll need on a daily basis. Once they have a good grasp of the basics, they’ll be better equipped to learn more complex words and expressions.
2. Make it a game.
Turn foreign vocabulary learning into a fun game that the whole family can play. Make flashcards with simple words and phrases, then take turns trying to guess the meaning. Try playing classic games like Hangman or Scrabble with a twist by using only words from the foreign language (you can make up your own rules as you go).
You can also try creating word search puzzles or crosswords with foreign words. Not only will your child have fun, but they’ll also be more likely to remember the words they learn.
3. Read together.
Start reading foreign language books with your child as early as possible. Read aloud with them in the foreign language on a regular basis. This will help them become familiar with hearing and seeing new words in context.
For added fun, try reading aloud in different accents or voices.
Look for books that are appropriate for their level and interests to keep them engaged.
You could also find movies and shows in the foreign language and watch them together with subtitles on.
4. sing songs and watch films.
Singing is a great way for kids to learn new words and concepts. Look for foreign language children’s songs on YouTube or Spotify, and sing along together. Your child will have so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning!
You can also watch movies. Start by finding movies that are appropriate for your child’s age group and then look for the ones that focus on topics that interest them specifically.
5. Practice every day.
A little bit of practice goes a long way when it comes to learning a new language. Set aside some time each day – even just 10-15 minutes – to review vocabulary words with your child.
You can do this while you’re driving in the car, cooking dinner, or before bedtime. The more frequently your child hears and uses new words, the better they’ll remember them long-term.
6- Incorporate new words into everyday activities.
A great way to help your child learn new vocabulary is to use it in everyday situations. For example, if you’re teaching them Spanish, name some common items in the house in Spanish as you’re doing chores together or point out different types of animals when you’re out for a walk.
7. Encourage them to talk about their interests.
When kids are passionate about something, they’re often motivated to learn more about it – including new vocabulary words. So ask your child about their interests and hobbies and help them find resources (books, websites, articles, etc.) in the foreign language that relate to those topics.
8. Ask questions often.
Asking questions is a great way to get kids thinking about the meanings of words and how they fit into sentences grammatically. So when you’re talking with your child, be sure to ask lots of questions using words from the foreign language – it’ll help reinforce what they’ve learned while also giving them valuable speaking practice too!
9. Encourage mistakes.
It’s natural for kids (and adults!) to feel embarrassed when they make mistakes while speaking another language – but it’s important to remind them that everyone makes mistakes and that’s how we learn!
Encourage your child to keep practicing even if they make errors along the way – eventually, they’ll get more confident and proficient with time.
10. Find a native speaker.
If you know someone who speaks the foreign language fluently, try asking them if they would be willing to spend some time talking with your kid once in a while too!
It can be helpful for kids to hear how native speakers use the language in conversation so they can get a better sense of its rhythm and flow.’
11. Give rewards.
Everyone loves a good incentive! Offer small rewards to your child whenever they successfully use a new word in conversation or correctly identify it when they see it written down. This will encourage them to keep up the good work and help them associate positive feelings with learning new vocabulary words.
By incorporating some or all of these strategies into your daily routine, you can give your child a big boost as they’re learning a foreign language! Just remember – every little bit helps, so don’t feel like you have to do everything all at once!’
Learning a foreign language is a great way for kids to boost their brain power, broaden their worldview, and enhance their communication skills.
As a parent, you can help your child succeed in their foreign language classes by supplementing their learning at home using these 10 strategies.
With some patience, practice, and plenty of encouragement, your child will be speaking like a native in no time.
Have fun. Above all else, make sure that you and your child are enjoying yourselves while you boost their foreign vocabulary!