How to Motivate a Child to Learn a Foreign Language?
By Space Coast Daily // May 27, 2022
According to most parents who have tried to instill a love of learning a foreign language on their own, the biggest problem is the unwillingness of the child to study. Studying, in principle, can be associated with rather uninteresting and monotonous work, especially when the information is presented in a non-native language.
Therefore, parents must give the child a different experience from the process of interacting with languages. We have made a list of recommendations, which may help parents to motivate their kids. Let’s analyze the methods by dividing them by age since the motivational tools for a child of 3 years old and seven years old are completely different.
2–3 years old
Games and creativity are a great foundation for studying a language at this age. Fun courses where kids sing, guess words, dance, and draw will make the process an exciting pastime. This will give the child an excellent base, after which further education in adulthood will become familiar and not difficult for them. It is best when classes are held entirely in a foreign language! The child will easily memorize the phrases and sounds of the language.
4–6 years old
At this age, kids may begin to resist, say that they do not want to learn a foreign language, and so on. Therefore, it is worthwhile to be more careful in choosing the group where the classes take place. This age is characterized by protests when the educational process seems not fascinating, but good specialists will always be able to interest the child because without involvement at this age the result is not possible.
For example, you can download the wanted poster template, and color the page with a kid, while teaching him different words. This is not boring at all, and a kid will enjoy your company as well.
7–10 years old
Take your child away from the idea that he is studying a language to get a grade or pass an exam. Put his focus on the fact that he is learning it to understand his favorite songs, watch movies without translation, and communicate with friends from Europe. Try to select groups where they not only ask to learn words but also conduct classes in the format of constant communication so that the child learns to speak.
10–15 years old
Take your child to a language club where children and teenagers communicate on various topics using only a foreign language. Firstly, it will allow him to make new acquaintances with the same-speaking kids. Secondly, it will give him the chance to practice spoken language by discussing contemporary topics. Thirdly, this is a great alternative to a book and tasks that can get boring at this age.
What can help your kid study a foreign language?
Try to join your child in learning when possible. If this is not possible, then at the initial stage you can watch cartoons or children’s programs together so that the child does not feel that learning a language is only his responsibility. If you are studying the same language, visit the countries that speak it freely.
Traveling is a great way for you to show how much a language can give you when you can speak it fluently in another country. Encourage your child to order something in a café or buy a ticket, and this experience will open up a new feeling for him to use the language.
Learning a language in the context of what you are interested in is much easier and more effective. If a child is interested in sports, he will be especially motivated to read the news in English about his favorite team. He loves music – why not translate his favorite song? It is also important to immerse the child in 4 types of speech activity at once: listening, reading, speaking, and writing.
This is not only a practical necessity but also an excellent scenario for each lesson that will not let the child get bored. Combine exercises, both formats and difficulty levels. It is essential that the child does not get tired. Did you do a difficult grammar exercise? Watch a short cartoon after it as an encouragement. Good luck!