Learning a new language became a new must in the globalized world. Since most of the information is now stored online and everybody can instantly exchange information from different sides of the world, it has become the norm to speak English and at least one second language. Even though you can learn a new language at any age, there are plenty of benefits for learning it while you are young.
But, how can we keep kids engaged and interested in learning a new language? Well, a second language learning program for kids needs three key elements:
- Variety – Doing stuff over and over again might not be the best way to engage kids in learning. That doesn’t include just the way the learning material is presented, but also the way in which it is tested. By adding different styles of learning, words, numbers, songs, pictures and videos, learning can become an engaging experience.
- Creativity – What better way to spark learning than through creativity! Don’t just give your kid a block of words and tell them to memorize it, add loads of colors, cartoons, and captivating stories. A creative way of learning “tricks” your kid to engage in learning while having loads of fun.
- Activity – A straightforward passive lesson might not just cut it for a kid. As you need to count on a shorter attention span and abundance of energy, it is important to give young learners some fun and engaging stuff to do. If it is not an engaging experience, it will hardly stay in their memory.
Seeing a list like that might make you scratch your head as to how to include all of these three aspects into language lessons. Lucky for us, there are amazing tools that make it an easy process.
If you were ever interested in picking up a new language you have probably heard of Duolingo. It offers a variety of different languages and, best of all, it is completely free. The way Duolingo keeps its user base growing is by splitting lessons into manageable size bits. It works by embedding vocabulary, phrases, and sentence structure by repetition, but constantly adding new information keeping it fresh.
Developers pride themselves on allowing for huge customization and personalization in the way learners want to go with their lessons. Learners have the option to learn through experiences like in-person events, interactive stories, and podcasts. Depending on your kid’s preferences, he or she can learn at their own pace.
Since the way it is intended to learn through games and quizzes, it keeps interest at peak and helps learning habits seem like fun.
Another vocabulary learning tool that you shouldn’t miss is Languagenut. Developers recommend learning age of 5 to 14. The program allows for vocabulary building, pronunciation exercises, and learning to spell. All of these benefits are gained through playful games.
The biggest difference from other similar tools is that Languagenut is its stunning graphical interface. As it teaches target words and phrases with varying games, stories, and songs, it is not hard to see why it’s used in 32 countries all around the world as a teaching tool for learning a language.
For the learner with a more sensory learning style, FluentU is the perfect choice of a tool. The main premise of FluentU is that it takes real-life videos, for example, music videos, news videos, trailers, and transforms them into an engaging language learning experience.
Keeping the interest high with videos, it captions and annotates the snippets of videos and helps you understand the video at the same time as improving the language skills. The tool has access to word definitions, images, and even examples of word use in sentences.
Multiplatform use makes it easy to learn 9 different languages including Spanish, German, and even Chinese as it is available offline, online, on iOS and Android devices.
Having a flexible approach to learning, FluentU allows you to choose what and when you watch, so it’s the perfect choice for any level and age of the learner. With personalized questions and fun flashcards based on your learning history, this tool keeps the learner coming back again for more fun and learning.
- Little Pim
For the young learner out there, we recommend Little Pim. Its main audience is children from birth to the age of 6. As language learning comes naturally to them, younger children can often learn up to three languages with ease.
The tool offers its cartoonish panda bear that teaches children essential words and phrases which form building blocks for language learning.
With child-friendly themes, learners are entertained and don’t feel like it’s a choir to learn a new language close to native accent. If you want your child to reap benefits like improved memory, better analytical skills and strong problem-solving skills even though you don’t speak the new language, there is no need to worry. Little Pim provides parents with comprehensive scripts and guides to help you follow along with your child.
So there you have it, the list of tools that can propel your kid’s learning experience regardless of their age. Each tool brings some different benefits to the table. As we concluded, to keep engagement high we need activity in lessons, creativity and an imaginative approach, loads of variety to not feel too repetitive. Therefore, it might seem to be hard to teach a language course for your kid on your own. With these 4 tools, you have all the bases covered as they are not only easy and fun to use, but also available to be used wherever and whenever your kids want some new fun and engaging knowledge of a new language.
About the author:
Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at Academized.com, an academic writing company. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.