IWTYAL 154: How to teach languages to children

Chen asks: “How can I teach my child a foreign language without a native environment?”

In this episode:

  • Studies comparing school education systems don’t find any benefits to starting school tuition before the age of 11. However, this is an indictment of the education system more than anything
  • It is possible to teach children many languages at the same time

It’s always good to follow the child’s interests, but since children change their tastes so frequently, I would pick the language you want him/her to learn, and focus on that over the long-term

The ideal scenario is as follows:

  • Set aside one hour a day for the language
  • If possible, bring in an au-pair or nanny to interact with the child for that time (“One Person One Language”)
  • If that is not possible, learn the language yourself, and teach him/her as you go
  • Use the same teaching methods you would use in your mother tongue – songs, games, cartoons
  • Be VERY patient, and don’t expect quick results

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

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