How to Teach Your Child a Foreign Language
Studies have found that learning a second language makes kids smarter. If this is your purpose for teaching, the language learned is not hugely important. Spanish and French are excellent options because there are plenty of learning resources available. My daugter is learning Spanish, which is also beneficial because we live in California.
However, some parents want to teach their own language or maybe that of a grandparent. This may be more of a challenge if there aren't as many learning materials available. If you want to teach your kids a foreign language, these are some good places to find learning resources.
Language Lizard carries foreign language learning materials aimed at children, so it's the best place to begin. This is especially the case if your child will be learning a language that isn't widely learned. The website has dual language books, CDs and dictionaries for more than 40 languages including Greek, Hindi, Bulgarian, Russian, Kannada, Punjabi, Chinese and Tagalog.
Powerspeak uses interactive games and stories to teach foreign languages. Spanish, French, German and Latin are offered for elementary age kids. Chinese courses are available for middle and high school kids. Sample lessons are available, so you can try it before you buy access to a course.
I haven't use this with my child but many people do. I've even heard of it being used with elementary age kids. It's available in common languages like French, Spanish and German. Unfortunately, it's very expensive.
Byki Express (byki.com)
This is a very useful flash card software that's available in dozens of languages. Byki Express is free. There is also a paid option with more features. Go to List Central at the top to find flash cards that cover numerous topics. Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Bosnian, Chinese, Farsi, Indonesian, Irish, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Scottish, Swahili, Swedish, Urdu and Vietnamese are just some of the offered languages.
German workbook teaches colors, weather, food, clothing, animals, the city, etc. for kindergarten and up.
Foreign Language Workbooks
Workbooks are a great option for teaching a foreign language. Amazon.com is a good place to find these. If you look at the left hand side menu on the amazon website, you can narrow books down by type. So, you can type Spanish workbook in the search and then narrow down the results to children's books. It's easy to find workbooks for Spanish. Amazon also carries workbooks in French, German, Urdu, Chinese, Bengali and other languages.
City Recreation Classes
Look into your city's recreation program to see if they offer any foreign language classes. If they do, it may be only for one or two languages. This can be a good option for homeschoolers.
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