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Teaching your child a new language

Studies have overwhelmingly confirmed the cognitive benefits of bilingual children. There are various reasons parents want to teach their children other languages. Some being: cultural background and/or to be able to communicate with others in the area in which they live. Whatever the reason, it is typically not difficult to teach a young child a new language. Although languages can be learned at just about any age, it is best to start as young as possible.

Teaching your child a new language
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The first thing to do before you start teaching your child a new language is to do your research. If you are not already fluent in the language you have in mind, try to familiarize yourself with it. Learn the basics or at least basic words of that particular language. Once you have the basics down, try some of the following methods.

Set a schedule or use a calendar. It is best to be organized when teaching your child a new language. Set a schedule to plan things out. Some examples of schedule setting would be planning to teach certain types of words or phrases (greetings, colors, numbers, body parts, etc.) in a specified time frame. The time frame can range from a few days to a whole month. It all depends on your preferences. If you are planning to teach you child more than one additional language, a schedule can be used to indicate when you will teach which language.

Reading books to your child is a good way to help them learn a new language. You should start with books for bilingual children (books targeting the language you want your child to learn). Once your child is a bit more advanced, you can move on to books that are completely in the target language.

Repeat certain words or phrases in the target language. When speaking to your child in your home language, pick certain phrases or words to repeat in the target language. Doing this enough times will eventually teach your child the relation between the two. If you know sign language or willing to learn, it could help a lot. Once you're child knows certain words and phrases in sign language, you can sign while speaking in the target language.

Another good idea is to use songs. You can make up your own songs or do a little research to find them. Songs are a great way for children to learn new things.

Having your child around other children who speak the target language is also a good way for them to learn. Find playgroups or meetups so your child can play with other children who speak the language you want him/her to learn.

You can be fluent in the new language or learn along with your child and still be successful in turning your home into a bilingual, or even multilingual household.

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