Having your child learning a second language does more than expanding their horizons socially and culturally, it also gives them an advantage educationally and economically.
More doors are open to bilingual speakers, plus there are very few things funner and more fulfilling than learning the language of another. It almost seems a waste not teach our children as they still reside in the formative years when they're most susceptible to learning more than one means of communication.
How can you help as a parent if you're not a bilingual speaker yourself?
We outlined five ideas below:
1. Hire A Bilingual Nanny
Nannies are very handy to have around and take a great deal of pressure of when it comes to taking care of the house and kids. Additionally, many of them may speak a second language natively. This comes as a wonderful package as you will have an extra pair of hands to help around the house while a loving nanny that can introduce your child to a new language and culture. Where can you find them? Ayiconnection provides such an opportunity, connecting you with a local bilingual caregiver and nanny.
2. Host an Au Pair
An Au Pair offers a similar service as a live-in bilingual nanny, but is governed under a structure program with different rules and regulations. An Au Pair comes from a foreign country to learn the way of life you live, in exchange they provide childcare services. Typically they act as a helper around the house with a set schedule, while staying in an extra room in your house. Au Pairs in some cases will move onto other things once their program is completed, but they leave you with an unforgettable experience of cultural exchange. They can also be an asset in helping you and your child in picking up a new language.
3. Hire a Language Tutor
Public schools don't tend to have many lessons in second language education in most states until the high school years, and even then the selections are limited. Try to give your child the gift of learning with a more personal touch by hiring a tutor. A tutor provides a focused learning method with one on one interactions to help your child learn the words, grammar, and rules of a new language. A tutor can share material and learning resources as well as working with your child personally to advance their language training.
4. Learn Together
Another option may be a triple benefit of sorts. Make your learning experience a group activity to create a bond between parent and child as well as to foster skills and communication in a second language. Make your learning experience an adventure and a fun activity. Learn new words together, pick up new books, are committed to a full course together. You'll get to ensure that your child learns a second language and you get to learn for yourself, and perhaps best of all you get to spend time together! For a comprehensive guide to finding the right language learning software for you, check this guide.
5. Targeted Language Groups
Even the most brilliant teachers and professors agree that there's no better way to learn a language than through interaction with native speakers. Try to bring yourself into contact with groups and friends who speak the language (for example form a circle of Latino friends to learn Spanish). In many cases you'll find that native speakers of various language are more than happy to help you and your child learn the new language, and sometimes are even flattered when you ask. By ensuing we interact with native speakers we can learn the language in the realest and most natural way, and we'll find at this susceptible age, our children will be way ahead of us as we continue to do so.
AyiConnection provides a platform to connect you with local bilingual caregivers and nannies, au pairs, tutors and more. Join us to start this journey! It’s free to sign up, search and chat with your prospects. Give your child the gift of learning a new language entirely during the formative years of his/her life.