Taking into account globalization and growing competition on the world market, we can safely say that knowledge of at least two languages will become a necessity for success in business and the realization of one’s ambitions.
For this reason, you might seriously consider how to make your child a polyglot and take advantage of their natural ability to learn languages.
What’s the best time to start learning a foreign language?
The sooner the better.
Any delay always results in a dominant role for the mother language, which leads to inevitable mistakes. The child tries to speak a foreign language, using grammar and phonetics of the native language.
However, by learning two languages simultaneously, there’ll be less confusion because both languages will be perceived as native and neither of them will dominate.
Yes, that’s the bilingualism you’re dreaming about!
How not to overload the child?
Many parents worry that they would overload the child at an early age. Actually, all depends on the chosen methodology.
I believe that an interactive game is the best way to attach the child to a foreign language. Arrange the lessons properly, so that the baby will take them seriously, rather as a new exciting game.
Go and get some advice on how to do it.
Moreover, you can teach your child several languages at once. Each subsequent language gets easier, so please don’t think that you have to bring English or any other language to perfection before starting a new one.
What languages to choose?
Of course, the first one must be English, at least for the reason that international communication is almost impossible without the global language.
As for the others, it depends on your circumstances and the inclinations of the child. If you speak some foreign language or have relatives abroad in a particular country, be sure to teach your child this language.
By setting a concrete goal, you’ll motivate both yourself and the kid. Of course, it should always be practical and applicable. In recent years, oriental languages like Chinese and Japanese are in trend.
Online vs. offline education.
Online studies can be even more effective than their offline alternatives.
Students in groups are often distracted by each other and therefore do not receive the knowledge to the extent to which teachers and parents expect. The situation becomes even worse if the child gets sick.
I believe the combination of offline and online lessons gives the best results.
Individual online lessons with a tutor, for example, via Skype, will fill possible gaps and put your child ahead of the peer learners.
What are the greatest obstacles?
There is a chance that the child may experience the confusion of different word forms and concepts. That’s why individual lessons and constant communication with the same teacher bring the expected result.
As a rule, tutors don’t take children for training under the age of 3.
Well, that’s quite logical considering the fact that most kids learn spoken language to the age of 2. Of course, at this age it’s too early to study grammar, but why waste the opportunity to provide the maximum amount of information when your child absorbs information easily and with pleasure?
The later second language training was started, the more obvious the domination of the native language. If the interval between the start of communication in the first and second languages does not exceed one year, the differences in their assimilation can be smoothed.
If your child is already 1+, note that the perception mechanisms are different due to the fact that your child has already started to use his native language. This, however, does not mean that it’s too late to start to communicate in a second language.
Ideally, at this time you should provide a child with a new person who speaks a foreign language. Past experience has shown that children act up when their familiar role models suddenly switch and try to teach another language.
The solution to this situation would be hiring a nanny or governess.
Depending on the age, the child will speak the language in 4–6 months, and a year later it will be difficult to distinguish him from a peer native speaker. But this is only possible if he spends at least 8 hours a day with the nanny.
If you want your child to translate from one language to another, you can participate in the bilingual education by asking him/her to transmit something to the nurse in her mother tongue or, on the contrary, asking what she said.
Thus, you can help your child to expand his vocabulary in two languages and develop the ability to quickly switch from one language to another.
I wish you best of luck in your linguistic endeavors!