Learning a new language can be very important for children.Also it is fun and helps them to get in contact from people and cultures from other parts of the world.
Many people say that children can learn a foreign language more easily than adults. That’s not really true. But children have some advantages over adults in learning to speak languages:
- They need fewer words and grammar to start to talk
- Adults get more easily embarrassed while speaking to other people. Children have fewer problems in express themselves in a new language.
- It is more easily for children to learn the right pronunciation.
- Children classes normally includes music, dance, arts that helps a lot in studying. Classes for adults often miss that kind of stuff.
How to teach a second language to a child?
- It is necessary that a child hears the language 12 to 15 hours a week to learn a second language.
- The language output is very important for learning a second language: how many times per week the child use the language. That’s especially important for becoming a confident communicator.
- Many language have letters or sounds in common. So a child has to learn to distinguish between the sounds of two languages. A child has to be able to hear the difference and to produce it.
- Vocabulary and literary skills that a child have to learn: Children do not need to learn the same words in each language. And they don’t have to see or read the same words to learn a new language. They just need to be able to understand the concept, the vocabulary concept that this object has a word that belongs to it. Other language concepts to understand is how to ask a question or how to tell a story. Then they need those concepts to be transferred to the other language. but it is not necessary to have the same skills in both language.
- Music helps children a lot to learn a foreign language. It helps to get an idea of the structure of the language.
- Arts, crafts and activities during classes also are important for children to learn a foreign language. Without that type of activities class could get boring.
- Reading together with children is also a great way for them learning a new language.
The benefits for children of learning a foreign language
There are some benefits for kids that learn a second language:
- Studying a foreign language helps in understanding your own (first) language. Children learning another language learn more vocabulary in their own language and they also learn more about the structure of their own language. So many children who learn a second language get advantages in speaking their own language over children who only speak one language.
- Learning a second language helps children to understand and master complex problems, like mathematical tasks. En general learning a new language helps in abstract thinking.
- Learning a new language helps to understand other people and cultures.
Learning a new language in a native speaking country is a great opportunity not only to learn the language but also to explore a new culture. That’s the reason why Terracentro offers Spanish classes for kids.