3 Methods for Helping Children Learn a New Language

by Erich Fang

Helping your children learn a new language is incredibly beneficial to their development. Since many of us here at Interpro are parents, we’re excited to share with you three ways to help your child learn a second language.

Why You Should Choose a Credible Resource for Learning a New Language

As Interpro’s name suggests, I am a language professional. That language, of course, is English. It’s not that I haven’t experienced others, though. My first non-English encounter lasted nine years in the form of Spanish during Catholic school. One might think I would have become fluent given that length of time. But the problem was that I learned from a source that, although once a native of a Spanish-speaking country, had now been living in the United States for several years. Of course, the Spanish language, as all other languages, music trends, and fashion do, had changed in that time. Not only that, but it often felt that the textbooks I was using dated back to before the Columbian Exchange.

Now, it might seem that this is no big deal. After all, we don’t see the English language change, right? Check with your great-great-grandparents and get back to me on that. We see computer software updates several times a year because Mac OS 9 just won’t cut it anymore. Why should we assume that languages are different, remaining functional while sitting stagnant for years at a time?

It's hard enough for adults to work on old software. But imagine being a child with a voracious and rapidly-developing brain not being pushed to its fullest level. Children are meant to benefit from learning languages.

Children who speak a second language are found to have better problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening skills, as well as improved memory, focus, and multitasking.

If parents want their children to be more creative and flexible, they’ll need to consider looking across the world, and choose a language learning tool that is credible (and fun).

3 Resources for Learning a New Language

Modernity, with its all flaws, has given us more tools than ever to help children reach their language potential. But now, it’s easy than ever to grow your language knowledge with the click of a button. Many apps will even remind you to practice your language daily! Here are three ways to help your child learn a new language.

1. Duolingo

I’ve seen my 55-year-old mother and 20-year-old sister both benefit equally from Duolingo, a fun app with worldwide translation resources from native speakers. As the website itself says, “We use…results to develop new and better courses, expand our universe of language-learning tools, update our materials as languages evolve, and ensure we're continuing to offer the best language education in the world. Like language, we never stand still.” An adaptable app for a necessarily-flexible type of learning!

2. Stories by Gus on the Go

Or how about Stories by Gus on the Go, an app in which your kids can learn beyond English with some classic fairy tales in a new language? Old stories combined with cutting-edge interpretation technologies make for a truly well-rounded childhood experience. As the website notes, “working with language educators and native speakers around the world, Gus on the Go has become an invaluable tool to help young kids nourish their love for language and inspiring them to become future global citizens.” A truly noble goal!

3. The Movie Method

This is best used in combination with another language-learning strategy. Simply watch your favorite family movies in other languages, and your previous knowledge of the story, combined with the dramatic facial expressions and creative scenes of the films, will help your child pick up on a new language much more easily. This can be paired with occasional “speaking the language” periods at home throughout the day. Think of it as a mini cultural immersion!

With all the disagreement over our children’s curricula, we can all at least agree that foreign languages should be more accessible. At Interpro, many of our employees know a second, third, or even fourth language! If you want what’s best for your children, use the resources we can provide for you today.

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Sources:

  1. elearningindustry.com/top-5-language-learning-apps-for-kids
  2. leadwithlanguages.org/why-learn-languages/early-childhood-elementary/#:~:text=Feed%20Their%20Brains,enhanced%20creativity%20and%20mental%20flexibility
  3. kumon.co.uk/blog/is-learning-a-foreign-language-good-for-kids-at-a-young-age/
  4. duolingo.com/approach
  5. gusonthego.com/meet-team-gus/

Erich Fang

Sales Support Representative

"I found Interpro from a family reference, and I haven't looked back since. Each day provides new interactions with an Interpro team member and new subject matter to tackle. I know I can always count on my coworkers at Interpro to make my weekdays memorable, fun, and educational."