As adults, picking up a second language is a matter of discipline, consistency, and simply finding enough time in the week to learn. Kids, on the other hand, are more interested in doing what’s fun, exciting, and new. Sitting down to study another language doesn’t exactly tick those boxes, so it’s our job to make learning more interesting for them.
The benefits of learning a second language are innumerable, and the earlier children start, the better. So, how can you make language learning fun and engaging for kids? Here are four ways to make it happen.
If you have kids, you know their short attention spans can keep them from engaging with topics or activities for long enough to stick. However, the silver lining is that once they find something interesting or fun, they become fully engaged and willing to dedicate far more attention and energy to the task.
This is the paradox of children’s attention spans, and you must use it to your advantage when creating a language learning program for them. The first key to achieving this is through private, one-on-one lessons with a person leading the lesson from start to finish, as opposed to a computer.
Even the most distracted kids are more likely to pay attention to an actual person compared to automated learning software or a standard video course. Private lessons make children feel more important and respected, which will, in turn, benefit their engagement levels and promote progress.
When trying to learn Chinese, children need real-world references to connect symbols and sounds to their everyday environments and interactions. Unfortunately, this is the missing link in many language programs for kids, resulting in a far less engaging experience.
The key to immersive learning starts by making the language feel necessary for kids to fully express themselves and engage with the world more effectively. After all, young children are constantly looking for ways to be more competent and confident in their abilities, but only if there’s an incentive.
For example, does your child want a sweet snack? Maybe a new toy, or permission to go play with their friends at the park? Perhaps they want to make a good impression on their peers or other adults by showing off their language skills in real-time.
If you encourage kids to start using their second language to get things they want, they suddenly become much more eager to learn a language like Chinese and apply the teachings. Immersion is the key, and the best lessons ensure that real-world topics and terms are the centerpieces of learning.
High-quality teachers are more than just lesson leaders. In fact, they advise children and parents throughout the entire learning process. While also creating the best possible experience in the classroom.
You probably know from your own experience in school that a good teacher is the difference-maker in your engagement and educational success. The same rules apply to kids today learning a new language. So, make sure your chosen program features certified, professional teachers you can trust.
Certifications are essential, but classroom experience sets certain teachers apart in terms of quality and results. The best teachers have taught children of all ages, backgrounds, and levels, and will deliver a personalized teaching strategy for your child.
We’ve seen plenty of gamification in the business world as companies incentivize customers to stick around with fun programs and rewards. This concept applies seamlessly to e-learning as well. Your child can benefit from these strategies when learning a new language.
The concept of gamification is simple. Just incorporate elements from board games and video games into the learning experience to make it fun. This keeps kids more engaged and motivated to learn. Since kids are more game-crazy than ever before, you’re missing out on a huge advantage by leaving these elements out of the program.
Here are a few ways that language learning can be gamified effectively:
These are just some of the familiar elements that children know from their favorite online games and apps. When put in a learning context, mastering language becomes way more fun!
The best time for a child to learn a second language is now! Integrate these methods into your learning program and watch them make progress faster than ever. Remember to oversee their learning process with frequent assessments from the teacher. Thus, maintaining a big-picture view of your child’s education. With consistent effort and improvement, fluency is only a matter of time.