In my practice of organizing study abroad, there were many non-standard requests. I already talked about one of them in the article ” Getting a free education in the Czech Republic is real! “.
And today I will tell you about perhaps the most unusual client in my career – this is Sonya, she is 2 years old. When Sonya’s parents asked me to organize English language training for their daughter, I initially refused: not quite the format of services that I provide, time-consuming, and the age of the student was very embarrassing for me.
When I got home and told the standard daily news to my girlfriend, I casually mentioned it. Anya became very interested in this topic and tortured me with questions. Then, having plunged for an hour or two into the expanses of the Internet, she delivered a verdict: “You must agree!”.
Anya can be very convincing and it is difficult to refuse her. Therefore, in the morning I called the clients and gave my consent on the condition that I was ready to start work in a week. I needed this time for a detailed study of the issue of teaching a foreign language to the smallest.
I’ll make a reservation right away, in the course of getting acquainted with this issue, I firmly decided that I would start teaching my children English from the very cradle because of the benefits that a child acquires by starting to learn the language at such an early age is enormous!
Here are just a few of them:
- The child subsequently does not learn the language, he simply knows it;
- Excellent basis for learning other foreign languages (French, German);
- With the development of memory and intellectual perception, in the future it is easier to switch to new tasks;
- In the absence of a language barrier, the child thinks in two languages at once, and does not translate what he hears;
- A good base for entering school will have a positive effect on the child’s self-esteem and his adaptation to a new team.
Despite these benefits, many parents worry that teaching their children multiple languages at the same time can interfere with the full learning of their mother tongue. But we must not forget that for a child there is no difference – to learn one or two languages at the same time.
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A child at this age has no idea about the division of languages into Russian, English, or any other, they just learn to speak and get to know the world!
Therefore, the baby’s brain is created for learning foreign languages, but in this matter, he will need the patience and ingenuity of his parents and teachers.
A Few Rules
Which I formulated in the process of training Sonya and based on the information studied
1. Communicate with your child in two languages
But here it is necessary to adhere to certain rules. It is very important not to “mix” languages. Ideally, if one parent speaks to the child only in their native language, and the second only in a foreign language. If this is not possible, due to the lack of necessary knowledge from the parents, you can contact a tutor.
2. What to talk about?
Talk about who you are, what you do, and see what you think and feel. Introduce the names of objects that are in the room, in the car. On walks, talk about everything you see around: trees, people, animals, and birds. Use facial expressions, gestures, pictures, and other visual cues to help your baby understand what you are talking about. Every word matters. The more words your child hears from you and those around you, the more successful language learning will be. But do not abuse the attention of the baby: say “on time and the topic.”
3. The study doesn’t mean boring!
Learning a language can be fun. Use games, songs, and poems for this. Entertain your baby with tongue twisters (great language training). Arrange musical evenings where you sing songs with your child in one or both languages. Invite your friends for more fun.
4. Don’t forget to read
Choose for your crumbs books in both languages with interesting, bright pictures and read at any time convenient for you. The best reading for kids is fairy tales. They are instructive and not difficult to understand. It’s good to ask a couple of questions about the content. Don’t be discouraged if your child mixes two languages. This is fine. Give your baby some time and he will delight you with a good knowledge of both languages. Looking at pictures in a book can also be fertile material for learning.
5. Inform everyone who interacts with the child about “bilingualism”
People who have contact with your baby should know that he is learning two languages. This is especially important for the kindergarten teacher, doctor, school teachers, friends, and acquaintances. This will help them communicate properly with the child, and you will get real support and help.
PS And most importantly! Be patient, be persistent and consistent, create a comfortable environment for teaching your baby – and the path to success will not be so difficult.