It’s never a piece of cake when you try to teach the young ones a new language. It’s not uncommon to find kids dragging their feet when it comes to practicing new words. But if a child truly enjoys learning these new words, the chances of the language sticking with them in later years is higher and makes the process of teaching all the more worthwhile.
That makes it important for parents to find fun and new ways to turn this learning journey into exciting and engaging exercises for kids. And we have here 5 ways to make language learning fun for your little language learners:
1. Picture Books, yay! Picture books work fantastically well with toddlers! With all the bright colours and interesting palettes, pictures draw a young mind’s attention in no time! It makes it easier for them to associate the word with the picture it describes, thus helping them memorise it.
What’s better than a picture book? An interactive picture book, a.k.a, picture-word games! These help in multifold learning - language, cognitive skills, motor skills, and an amazing tool to work on that little brain memory!
2. Rhymes and Riddles What’s great about rhymes? They exist in all languages, and for all age groups! And they follow a pattern! It’s not a secret that kids love patterns - with rhymes, one line may contain a new word that rhymes with the word that your child already knows or is familiar with. And these new words they hear from rhymes are getting engraved in their memory without a crack of extra effort!
Riddles on the other hand, just like songs and stories, engage your child’s imagination. They are fun ways to use words to paint pictures of scenes and situations. And can be easily turned into an engaging game!
3. Just Sing It Music is a mood-booster! That’s not where their services end, no sir! Lyrics in songs are very catchy and kids keep going back to them repeatedly. The number of words and phrases they learn by just imitating the sounds and trying to sing along is unbelievably immense!
Kids don’t have to be actively learning to actually learn the language. Play some songs with lyrics in the target language while the kids are playing, eating, bathing, whenever. Just leaving it in the background will do the trick just fine. Here’s one such song to help teach some words in the English language!
4. Storytelling Whether real, make-believe, from a book or a visual medium, stories always help children develop their communication skills. In addition to expanding their imaginative skills, encouraging them to read, watch and repeat stories helps them recall the words and their meanings.
Of course, do not fret about finding new stories every day. It can be exhausting to hunt for a new one on an everyday basis! But luckily, you don’t have to! There are learning apps weaving beautiful stories into learning objectives, like this one.
5. Try Play-Based Activities If you want to trick your young ones into learning without them realising it (no judgement here, it’s for their own good), well, think no more! Turn to games! Games and play have a certain charm to them. They take a child’s very boring study time and turn it into playtime with benefits! A win-win for all parent-child duos.
This fun game of Word Relations is just one example of tens and hundreds of games specifically designed by experts to help teach kids new words and their meanings.
Another effective way to learn a language is through communicating! Try talking to your kids in the language they are trying to learn as much as possible, and make the whole learning process collaborative. Start with simple instructions and build your way up to longer conversations.
But please remember to not be hard on yourself or the kids. Keep your expectations in check - no matter the methods, tricks, tips, and ways, learning a language is not an overnight feat to be achieved. Every kid has their own learning pace. Be prepared to give the kids the time they need and do not rush. Happy learning!