Reading books, singing songs and having conversations with your child are some of the best ways to create treasured family memories. These activities also expand your child’s primary language skills. But did you know if you discover a second language with your child, you will reap many benefits? Whether you already have some communicative ability in another language because of your family background or are just starting, here’s how to learn another language, along with your child.
The Benefits of Learning a Second Language
It’s natural to want to give your child the best foundation possible for a healthy and successful life. And a great way to do that is through learning a second language. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), even young children can handle learning two languages.
Research studies show that bilingual children demonstrate better memory and critical thinking skills. While that leads to better grades, bilingual children can also make friends in two languages. Best of all, the benefits continue into adulthood because bilingual adults have many more career and networking opportunities.
The Many Ways to Learn a Second Language
There are many fun ways to learn a second language. Take language lessons with your child and look for conversation groups in your area. Chances are you can meet other families with children. Read books, listen to music, watch movies and TV shows, and speak the second language to each other inside your residence.
And don’t forget to visit the country where they speak the second language. So, if you are studying Chinese, why not visit China? If you are learning your family’s language, it is a great way to reconnect and share your legacy with your child. Also, it’s the ultimate excuse for a family vacation and can open your child’s mind to a whole different way of life.
How to Get Started Now
Whether through formal language lessons or a more casual language exchange partner, look for options for you and your child to get started. Contact your local recreation or community center. Your town’s high school may offer after hour lessons. There are also many apps and programs that help teach a second language.
If you have family members who speak your native tongue, ask them to use that language when interacting with you and your child. As time goes on, you’ll be able to find what works best for both you and your child. With language learning, the journey with your child is the destination.