Bonjour mes amis!
The world we live in nowadays is a very global one. Never before have so many countries and people been so interconnected on a daily basis.
So many chances and opportunities to learn about other cultures and people around the world. It’s no wonder that the State of Utah now has incorporated Dual Immersion into public schools; offering children the opportunity to become fluent in, and study, a second language before they even graduate from high school. What an amazing opportunity!
…That is if you send your kids to public school and won the lottery for one of the dual immersion schools.
What do you do if the Dual Immersion program in the public school system is not an option for you? Are your children just not offered the opportunity to become familiar with, or learn another language?
I know, I know. That thought just crossed your mind that you don’t speak another language, or at least not fluently enough, to teach your child. That is absolutely OK mes amis.
You don’t have to speak another language like a native in order to teach your child.
Let me repeat. You. Do. Not. Have. To. Be. Fluent. In. Another. Language.
Nope! In fact, you don’t even have to speak one word in another language for your child to learn.
So how do you teach them something you don’t know?
The internet is an amazing place and you can find the perfect curriculum for your child. You could even learn the language along with your child – set the example for the joy of learning and to never stop learning in your life.
While the specific websites will vary depending on the specific language you choose, let me show you how to find the curriculum that propels your child through the language.
Of course, many of these resources work best for children in grades 7+, however, some of them will also work well for young children. Fair warning, this will not be the same as your typical workbook for classes.
Also, this list is primarily for monolingual parents. If you do speak the language, but just need ideas, go all the way to the bottom of the page and read the “BONUS” paragraph.
1. Online Courses
There are so many companies out there that offer courses to children. Some as young as 5 years old. Sure, there’s Rosetta Stone, which you could use. Or, you could higher an online tutor to help your child learn the language you wish. It seems there’s an option for every person’s style out there.
- For Spanish learners, you can find a tutor through PandaTree. This is an online language learning website for Spanish. All tutors are bilingual and the class format is similar to a Skype or FaceTime call on top of an interactive Powerpoint. Panda Tree has a very game-like interface and also has supplementary flashcards and games you can practice with before and after class.
- If you prefer full immersion classes, Lingo Bus or VivaLing are fantastic options. These courses are online with video as well as Powerpoint or a shared document so you can both see the material.
- You can find basically any language in the world, along with a variety of options for tutors on italki. Just know that classes are generally held on Skype without a visible document of curriculum or coursework that everyone can see. Still, a Tutor on italki is generally cheaper than the above options and is a great option for your child to practice speaking (once they reach that point).
2. Games and Apps
Games and apps can be an excellent way to supplement your child’s learning and to make it more enjoyable. Just know that these can only supplement your child’s learning, not be the sole source of it. There are so many options. You can probably do a quick google search and find some good ones (except in French, I haven’t found any of those).
3. Printable materials
One of the easiest ways will be to take some of your material that your children have been learning each week and find it in another language. If the material they are learning is easily relate-able in their lives, they will learn it more quickly. So, having a lesson about outer space? Find a printable in the language you want to learn or watch a video about it. Fair warning, using printables will only work for Romantic Languages where you can read the words. Also, you will want to have a basic alphabet pronunciation lesson before simply printing things off and attempting to read them.
This also includes books. Definitely read books. If you want to learn Spanish, it is likely that your local library has a collection of books in Spanish. Otherwise, start with simple children’s books or books you have already read in English (like Harry Potter). Get a basic idea of proper pronunciation and then start reading away. Better yet, listen to the audio version of the story!
Podcasts aren’t just for adults. Did you know there are podcasts for children as well? You can find some awesome podcasts that help teach conversations and phrases in the language you wish to teach. Plan some podcasts into your curriculum so your children can hear instructional conversations in their new language.
5. The Lingo Experience
Not sure where to even start? We’ve got your back. We have a full semester of Homeschool French just itching to help your child learn French and practice speaking French on a weekly basis.
Not interested in learning French? We also have roadmaps of what material to learn at different levels so you can simplify your curriculum and just find the proper resources you need. Remove the guesswork and do a simple google search for the material you need.
6. Learn the Language Yourself
I’m assuming that if you want your children to be bilingual, that you also have some distant dream of becoming bilingual as well. But it’s so much work. I don’t have the time. Yes, you do. We have all been blessed with 24 hours in a day to use however we please. It’s really more a matter of priorities. What better example can you set for your children than showing them how to never stop learning in life. Lead by example. There will be frustrating times, show them how to handle the frustration. Learn with them, practice speaking with them, listen to music with them, watch movies with them.
You can do this.
As you learn the language, or if you do speak the language you want to teach your children, games are your best friend. As you learn the vocabulary for numbers, use a deck of cards. Try using one of my checklists to introduce your children to the vocabulary. Then make it fun and play games with them!
- Practice numbers using numbered dice or a deck of cards (UNO, Skip-bo, even Face Cards). Make it more realistic by grouping the numbers together to make phone numbers.
- Play memory games with vocabulary themed matching games.
- Practice speaking using story cubes. Some cubes are vocabulary based, and others are for verbs. Putting both together would be a fantastic combination for speaking practice!
If you need help finding resources for the specific language you wish to learn, please contact me. I would love to help you find something amazing!
Is Rosetta Stone the Best Way to Learn?
Rosetta Stone is not for everyone. It's time to change up the game and actually find success learning a new language.
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