Latino In America
5 Tips to Help Your Kids Learn a Second Language Fast

By Charmaine Belonio

Being bilingual has its benefits in this ever-changing and advancing world. So if you know some basics or you’re fluent with another language, teaching this valuable skill to your kids as early as possible is a wise decision you can make as a parent today. Why? Being fluent in another language is an asset your kids will surely find handy the moment they’re in the real word (and they’ll surely thank you for it.)

I am not a native English speaker (my native language is Tagalog) but because my mom helped me learn the universal language early on, the skill proved to be quite useful for me. This is why I also am teaching my toddler to speak English. If you’re considering doing the same thing, here are seven tips to help you make the learning process educational and enjoyable for them so they’ll speak the second language fluently in no time.

1. Sign them up for an online class.

Help your kids learn from the comfort of your own home by enrolling them in an online class. Depending on the language you want them to learn, there are free useful resources that can be found online. Take advantage of them, so you can help them learn without having to spend much for it. If you don’t mind shelling out a bit for your kids’ second language education, hire a reputable tutor to teach them via video call for an hour or two a day.

2. Try informal learning sessions.

Does your kid have a classmate who’s fluent in another language, say Spanish? If there is, suggest that your kids enlist their classmate’s help in exchange of them helping their classmate in other subjects he or she may be struggling with. You can also talk to their classmate’s parents to discuss your plan and agree on the details of the learning session if they find your idea awesome. This way, your kids didn’t only learn Spanish fluently at no cost; you’ve also found yourself a new parent friend.

3. Watch a TV show in another language or a movie with subtitles.

Find a cartoon show in the language your kids are learning. You can also go online to watch your kids’ favorite movies with subtitles. Getting them exposed to the second language they’re learning through these avenues will help them develop their listening and comprehension skills.

4. Buy bilingual books.

If your kids are able to read, visit the bookstore to find educational books written in your native language and translated in the second language your kids are learning to be fluent at. Choose those with colorful images and clear labels so your kids for easy comprehension.

5. Use flashcards.

Sometimes, memorization is the key. So to help your kids easily memorize the most common and important words and phrases, keep flashcards in your pocket then flash them one by one at them. This helps them be more familiar with these key words so when they hear them next time, they know what it means and how to use it in a normal conversation.

6. Downloads apps.

Since kids naturally have short attention span, use technology like fun and interactive games to help them learn. Download and install them in your electronic devices so your kids can practice with them during their learning sessions or just about anytime they want to.

Helping your kids learn a second language they can find useful once they’re a grown-up doesn’t have to be a boring process. Keep these tips in mind so you can help facilitate their learning without boring them to death.

Buena suerte!

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