There are not that many children who manage to learn a language in school and finally speak it fluently, no matter how long they have studied it. However, there are many children who were able to learn a new language on their own in a couple of years, just by reading, watching TV and mixing with speakers of that language.
Parents can play a huge role in helping their children learn languages, so here are some ideas:
1. Move to another country!
2. Read and watch TV
3. Help them make bilingual friends
4. Lead by example
5. Make it fun and challenging
6. Foreign exchange
7. Holidays abroad
8. Get a foreign Au Pair or Nanny
9. Use books, CD-ROMs, videos, online courses
10. Private lessons
move to another country
Ok, this may be a bit extreme, but it is certainly THE single most effective way for your child to become fluent in a new language. Children up to their mid-teens simply soak up new languages like a sponge. The initial transition period can be daunting, but they soon make new friends and their language skills soar. When a child is surrounded by foreign speaking people, for example at school, you can expect your child to be conversationally bilingual within 3 months or so (although grammar etc. will take longer).
read and watch tv
Pretty self explanatory; find TV channels in foreign languages. Encourage your children to watch television, for example, in Spanish. You can also set some rules, maybe like no more than 2 hours of TV per day, except for foreign language channels which they can watch as much as they want.
Find a foreign magazine or newspaper that suits your child’s tastes (snowboarding, surfing, Italian art, French fashion, Russian chess…) and offer him a one-year subscription. Make him want to show it off at school (not very moral, but you want him to be proud of his language learning, right?).
Help them make bilingual friends
Unless you live in Siberia, you probably have people of many different nationalities living around you. Encourage your children to make friends with children who are bilingual in their target language, or who do not speak their native language well. You will be amazed at how quickly children begin to communicate with each other.
If you go to church or another religious community every week, why not go to a foreign-speaking one to learn a new language? [http://www.firstforlanguages.com]? Try once a month, then go more often. You’ll probably be invited to participate in some kind of community activity afterward—a great opportunity to practice your own skills, include your child, and make new friends.
Lead by example
Start at an early age by instilling in your children that knowing multiple languages is a sign of excellence; something desirable Do it yourself and include your child in your studies at home so you can learn together. Also, show them that this can be fun and quite easy (and not just a boring lesson in school!), and encourage them throughout.
Keep it fun and challenging
Suggest that your child wake up to the sound of a radio in a foreign language every morning. These clock radios are very cheap nowadays, and this is a great way to start your day off right. Even if radio talk isn’t much fun, your child might like a whole new kind of cultural music and learn a few new words and phrases along the way.
Have an I-pay-your-foreign-books-and-films policy with your kids. There are many excellent movies being broadcast in foreign languages in most big cities, and many foreign language bookstores as well. If you pay for them, you give your children a strong incentive to practice the languages they learn.
Plan a year abroad for your child, or at least a few months in the summer. This will only cost you the plane ticket, since another child (let’s say, a young Spaniard) will be coming to your house for the same time. For those who actually did this during their teen years, this is one of the most significant experiences of their youth. And languages learned early stay forever, and with a much better accent too.
Try to vacation in countries that speak your target foreign language. If you don’t speak it at all and your son does, make him feel important several months before you leave by telling him that he will be your guide and that the whole family will have to rely on his language skills during the holidays. . That should motivate him to learn as much as he can, so that he can be proud to use his new skills in front of the rest of the family.
Find a foreign Au Pair or Nanny
Hire an Au Pair, nanny, housekeeper, etc., who does not speak much English, and encourage her to speak to the children in her mother tongue. This way they will learn half of the language playing!
Use books, CD-ROMs, videos, online courses
There are a lot of books, cassettes, CD-ROMs, videos and now also online language courses for children, for language learning nowadays. If you can, buy several and use them together. A new CD-ROM can spark the interest and curiosity of a child who would otherwise be bored with traditional methods in the long run.
As I have already said, language teaching in schools is mostly insufficient to really learn a language. If you have the necessary funds available, why not hire a private teacher who can teach one-on-one for a few hours a week? In many areas this is not too costly and is much more efficient than group learning.
From Marcus Santamaria, comes a Spanish class that is paragon for anyone from 30 to 96 eld of age who wants to quick and easily get by in real-life Land to verbalize with their amigos: Click Here