How to Teach Your Son or Daughter a Foreign Language – Even if You Don’t Speak It
I think I know why you’re here. You had a baby — and then you had feelings that you never would have imagined. And today, you want this wonderful child to learn a foreign language. Right?
I’m going to tell you how to teach your son or daughter a foreign a foreign language — even if you don’t speak it yourself. But first I’m going to tell you what doesn’t work.
School Language Programs Don’t Work
I really should say that school language programs in English speaking countries almost never work. School language programs do work in some parts of Europe. And they usually work the best when they are teaching highly related languages, such as Danish schools teaching their students English. Danish and English are highly related.
School language programs in the USA have an almost 100% failure rate to produce high school graduates who can competently use the languages they studied.
Occasional Immersion Programs Don’t Work
Taking your children to France once for two weeks so your children can learn French won’t work either. For immersion to be effective, your son or daughter, needs a lot more time than two weeks. What would work is to spend three months every summer in Paris and a month in the French Alps over the holidays.
Vocabulary Learning Games Don’t Work
My brother speaks Spanish well. He speaks it well enough to use it daily in his work as a physical therapist. He would like his two daughters to learn Spanish. His method of teaching them Spanish has been to tell stories (mostly in English) and then plug in an occasional Spanish word. The result is that his daughters know about 100 words in Spanish, but they can’t say, “What’s your name?” or “Where is the bathroom?”
All language learning systems that do not quickly teach the learners complete useful phrases fail. No exceptions.
Grammar Training by Itself Doesn’t Work
Many language learning programs have such a strong focus on grammar that they might as well be 100% grammar. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t some value in learning grammar, but wait until your son is conversational in his new language before having him study grammar.
Weekly Tutoring for One Hour Doesn’t Work
Don’t waste your daughter’s time and your money on once per week tutoring. Once per week isn’t nearly enough to yield any kind of effective results.
Tutoring is a slow language learning method, but it can work! However it should be a minimum of two hours per day for a minimum of five days per week.
Things That Will Be Help – But Aren’t Enough
Have your child listen to a LOT of music, and movies, and videos in their new language. If you play music at home, make sure the vocals are in your son’s new language. When you watch movies, watch foreign films in your daughter’s new language with English subtitles. Remember that subtitles are notoriously inaccurate, but the more hours your daughter spends in her new language, the better.
Switch Much Of Your Socializing to You Son’s New Language
Say for example that your son wants to learn Spanish. If you are religious, switch to a Spanish church. If you aren’t religious, join secular organizations for Spanish speakers. If your son makes friends in his new language he is much more likely to learn it well.
Language Immersion School or Daycare
This can work, if your child is motivated and likes it. There are some very good French immersion programs in the English speaking parts of Canada. People who stay in these schools until they graduate, come out speaking pretty good French. They have a strange accent, but they master the language.
Larger American cities will always have Spanish day care available.
Remember That It’s Learning Minus Forgetting That Counts
Your daughter will forget everything that she doesn’t use. So remember that you need a method of fast review to retain the knowledge for a lifetime. Language101.com has a fast review method like this. So when your daughter forgets, and she will forget, she can quickly re-learn what she has forgotten.
Have One Parent Talk to Your Son Exclusively in His New Language
This absolutely works 100% of the time. For example, if a father only talks English to his son, while his mother only talks to him in Spanish, the boy will speak two languages with native proficiency.
If the parent teaching the second language is NOT a native speaker, don’t worry about your daughter picking up a bad accent from you. Children will always adopt the accent of other children if they have the opportunity.
If you have a baby who isn’t talking yet, you may want to learn the language yourself and teach it to her when the right time comes.
Language101.com Can Help Children Who Can Read Well
If your son is old enough to read and understand a newspaper, then Language101.com can be part of his language learning plan. Make sure he watches and understands the video directions and the interactive instructions. Also make sure he studies fast.
I want to stress that your girl will need more than Language101.com to become proficient. She will need practice with native speakers that is fun for her. Your job as a parent is to arrange the pleasant interactions in her new language.
If your boy isn’t old enough to read English well, then Language101.com is not a good choice for that child.
Have Your Child Do Our Demo
If your daughter or son is old enough to read English well and if she or he is old enough so that studying on a computer for 30 minutes would be a good experience, then have your child try our free demo without interruptions for 30 minutes. See how much they can remember several days later.
If they like the free demo and remember what they learned, then our program is right for you.