When children are young they can pick up and learn a second language faster than teens and adults. Their brains are able to process more than one language much easier if integrated into everyday life. There are many online tools and free resources available to help you to teach your children a second language.
Chillola is a free website that has interactive games and activities for children to learn the basic fundamentals of Spanish, French, German, and Italian. The activities include learning the alphabet, numbers, colors, animals, shapes, food, time, weather, and basic school and social vocabulary. This website also includes sheets with activities that you can print and have your children complete in order to reinforce the skills they learn online. This website also has additional links to other resources that would also be beneficial. Since this site is translated into several languages, it is easy to follow and help along.
Languages through Music
Music is considered a universal language that no matter what actual language you speak, you can understand. This great website, Mama Lisa, teaches young children to learn different languages through song, poetry, rhymes, and riddles. They provide popular children’s songs including nursery rhymes in the foreign language side-by-side with English translations. All of the shared works also include the written text, and MP3 clips of children speaking and singing to help the users to learn pronunciation. This website is also great for children to learn about different cultures as there are many countries represented.
Digital Dialects is a website that has review materials and games for over 60 languages. This site includes both basic vocabulary along with spelling, verbs, and other concepts for the languages. It utilizes audio, text, images, and game to help children to learn another language. This site would be better used with a parent and child together or by an upper-elementary aged child. It is not as user friendly as other sites, but definitely provides more in depth information.
Learning Games for Kids has simple games for young children to play to learn the basic words in a foreign language including Spanish, German, French, and even Latin idioms commonly used today. Many of the games involve matching the word in English to the foreign language. This site mostly uses vocabulary that is combined with conjunctions: of, with, and the. These are important words to help connect vocabulary and verbs which are covered in the other links above.
Rosetta Stone Homeschool
Rosetta Stone Homeschool, a fee based program, is one of the most popular programs for learning a second language. They have taken their popular methods for teaching adults a foreign language quickly and adapted it for K-5 students to be used in the homeschool environment. Along with learning vocabulary, spelling, and grammar, children will learn how to have real conversations through the speech-recognition software that simulates conversations. This program also helps to define a path based on the child’s skills and abilities. This program also has administrative tools for parents to view progress and guide learning.
Learning a second language is important for today’s children to work in a multi-cultural global economy. Learning a language when younger is easier to do than when you are an adult. Supporting your child in learning a second language is easy with all of the resources available online.
Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont
Picture By saritarobinson
Free Educational Resources by SmartTutor.com