Is it possible to teach your children two languages at once?
by Tom Jager
Most people would not mind having mastery of quite a number of languages. The same applies for their children. They would not mind their kids have mastery of several languages and the best time to initiate this is when the child is young. At a young age you can nurture a child into a lot of things and it is at this age that they are able to grasp things fast and not forget them easily.
Any adult attempting to learn a new a learn language can test to the fact that it is not a walk in the park. You will face quite an uphill task especially if the language is foreign. An example would be a native English speaker trying to learn Spanish. Even if they will manage to learn and speak it they would not be as fluent as if they had learned it at a younger age.
This is however different for a child since at this early age or typically at birth, if they experience two languages they become native speakers of both. They are going to be very fluent in both languages as well. It is at this age that they are developing language skills quite rapidly and to quickly absorb whatever they hear. They can therefore be able to understand new words in two distinct languages at an incredibly fast rate. It is therefore possible to teach your children two languages at the same time and in this case they are termed to as bilingual.
There are several steps that one can adapt to help their children bilingual at once.
At this young age, a child may go through several stages in mastering of the languages initially. When learning a new language they may go through a ‘silent’ or ‘nonverbal’ period but this is temporary. As the bilingual development continues they are now able to make short and imitative and finally their own sentences.
Resources that can help a child be bilingual
You can source for books at the bookshops, over the internet or even borrow in libraries and read them to the child in both languages while making sure that they understand.
Audiotapes and CDs
Using of tapes and CDs is also an effective method of learning and it is quite entertaining as well. One can also incorporate singing which a good learning platform as well.
Videotapes and DVDs
These are a good learning platform as well since they incorporate visuals and these will keep the children captivated. These programs are available in many languages and they often teach children about numbers, letters, colors as well as basic vocabulary.
Bilingual toys and games
One can buy their children and make sure that the words are spoken clearly and by a native speaker with a proper accent.
Children can also learn two languages at the same time at language camps or in bilingual education programs. This provide the children with a chance to use the two languages with their peers.
There are sites that the children can visit and where they can learn the different languages. There are tutorials as well from YouTube which one can study and study from.
Benefits of bilingual children
The children are able to exhibit improved executive functioning of the brain and thus are able to switch between attention, switch between tasks and solve problems with ease.
Children have increased metalinguistic skills and even easy learning of another third language.
About the writer