Do you want to teach your child a foreign language, and do so on a budget? Starting from a young age, children are absorbing and learning so much new information that learning a new language can seem like ‘just one more thing’. If you introduce them to language learning at a young age, they have a greater ability to learn quickly and have a second (or more) language as more of a natural skill.
Budget-friendly ways to teach kids a foreign language
- Learn through play
Learning through playing is both a fun way for your child to learn as well as a naturally budget-friendly option for language learning. You can sign your little one for local language hangouts and organize play-dates for your child with others in the area. Bonus if the other child is a native speaker of the language your child is learning! This creates an environment where your child can pick up on mannerisms, sounds, accents and phrases from a friend who is a native speaker, all while just having a fun time and being a kid.
- Use a language app
A language app is a convenient way for your child to do a language-learning lesson anywhere, anytime. You can simply download an app and your child can follow along a set language-learning path. There are many on the market these days, so be sure to pick out a good one: for example, the app Babbel has great reviews and is very well known.
- Watch television/movies
Television time can be educational time if you flip the audio on or put subtitles on in the language your child is learning. It is especially helpful to let/encourage your child to re-watch their favorite show in the new language so they already have some awareness of what is going on in the storyline, while already having an attachment and interest in it. Bonus: this doesn’t cost you an extra penny other than what you already pay for your cable or streaming service!
Benefits for children of knowing a second language
There are many benefits of knowing a second language, and as your child sharpens and strengthens their language skills as they grow up there will be more and more doors that open for them with this skill.
- Learn more efficiently
There is no secret trick to learning a language, and it does require one to learn how to learn and how to do it efficiently. This is a major benefit especially for children who learn a second language at a young age as they move forward in their educational careers and are able to learn more efficiently and have a few learning methods that work for them.
- Enhance creativity
Learning a language takes creativity and the willingness to make mistakes and learn.
- More patience
It’s no secret that learning a language (or anything for that matter) takes patience. So knowing a second language will not only increase your child’s patience with himself, but also will naturally make your child more patient and compassionate with other people who are learning a language.
- Open door for career opportunities
Language skills are highly sought after on the job market, so knowing a second (or third, etc.) language can open many doors for career opportunities. Domestic companies with HQ in a location where your second tongue is the native tongue can be greatly beneficial, as well as for having clients from another country or simply for international opportunities.
- Have a greater understanding of other cultures
In today’s globalized world, we are constantly surrounded by and experiencing other beautiful cultures. Knowing a second language opens your eyes to the world and to other cultures that are outside of your own little world, and this is an incredible thing to raise your child to understand.
The most important thing to remember when teaching your child a foreign language, or language learning in general, is to make it fun. When children are relaxed, happy and having a good time, they will have smiles on their faces and also be more inclined to learn and retain information as they have a positive association with speaking another language (or another new skill).