How can we best encourage our child’s foreign language learning at home?

2016.06.30

In Japan, the number of parents who want their children to grow up bilingual is increasing.
The importance of foreign language learning is increasing year to year along with the globalization of society.

Children’s minds are like a sponge and absorb whatever they are exposed to.
If they are exposed to foreign language learning in an efficient manner, they will catch on very quickly, like a sponge absorbs water.
The most effective way to learn a new language is to be exposed to the language as much as possible.

Make use of foreign language study materials

There are various ways to expose your child to foreign language, these include enrolling in an international school and/or taking private or group lessons.
In addition to outside learning, learning at home plays a very important role in language learning.

The number of easy-to-understand language study materials has increased in recent years.
Let’s make use of these materials to encourage learning at home.

The advantage of foreign language study materials is that they encourage learning with the eyes and ears.
Through foreign language animation, children can learn lots of new vocabulary as well as listen to native pronunciation.
It is important to choose study materials that allow children to learn as they play.

It is important for parents to learn along with their children.

“Conversation” is the best way to make use of the vocabulary learned through study.
Foreign language learning is easily forgotten if it is not used.
Daily conversation is a great way to use the vocabulary learned and increase one’s language ability.
For children to improve, it is helpful if their parents use the language along with them.
Children growing up in a family where their parents do not speak the foreign language often have trouble studying successfully at home.
Parents who are not confident with their foreign language ability should try to learn along with their children.

Create an environment where language learning is fun.

From a child’s standpoint, papa and mama are very easy people to talk to since they have a very close relationship with them.
Therefore, speaking a foreign language with their parents is a very effective way to improve their language ability.
Speaking together will also help improve parent-child communication.
Playing games and reading books together in a foreign language will also encourage their learning.
Playing with their parents in a foreign language will help them have fun while learning.
Creating an environment where foreign language learning is fun will have a lasting effect on their interest in the language and desire to continue studying it.

Most children will not enjoy studying a foreign language from the beginning.
It is important for parents to make it fun to study and increase their interest.

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