Posted by Denise Murray on
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My paternal grandmother was Mexican. From my memories, we ate in two languages, more than we were able to speak as bilinguals. Food may be the language of love, but did you know that by learning to speak a second language during toddler and preschool years benefits their future academic success. Many families are finding tremendous benefits using language immersion programs and apps helping kids learn new languages by hearing and speaking. Mastering speaking a new language is a great way to add new words to their vocabulary and increases cultural awareness. We're working on implementing the family-approved trick to introducing a new language to kids.
Thank you to Whistlefritz and their promotional team for the courtesy of providing gratuitous product for editorial content purposes. This content may contain affiliate links.
The Family-Approved Trick to Introducing a New Language to Kids
Gaining inspiration from his brother and sister, my youngest son has a natural curiosity about the world around us and the amazing faces and places to discover. I've recently taken time to research his interest in learning new languages, discovering Whistlefritz, an award-winning program using language immersion to teach kids to speak Spanish and French. I'm impressed with what I've observed so far and even took some time to brush up on my Spanish skills.
Immersive children's language series Whistlefritz came into creation as Heidi Stock, Founder, faced challenges finding educational, engaging resources for teaching her children a new language. Unimpressed with overly basic programs featuring animated characters without a balance of live speakers for children to model, Stock engineered her vision for Whistlefritz.
Whistlefritz Shares Six Tips for Ensuring Second Language Learning Success for Kids
Learning a second language in early childhood offers a lifetime of benefits for a child. Research shows that learning a second language at an early age has positive effects on a child’s intellectual growth and cognitive development. It sharpens a child’s overall literacy skills and helps the child develop a greater sensitivity to language, a better ear for listening, and a stronger appreciation for other cultures.
To ensure early second language learning success, parents and teachers should-
-Expose children to a second language early when the brain is most receptive to language development. Research shows that an ideal “window of opportunity” for language learning occurs in early childhood. During this period, with sufficient exposure, children can learn a second language just as naturally as their first and with native-like fluency.
-Skip the translation! While parents may be tempted to translate words into and out of English when teaching a second language, translation can actually delay a child’s acquisition of a second language. Skipping the translation stage is the key to fluency. Children can achieve fluency more quickly and more permanently by learning words directly from images and context. Here’s why!
-Teach children a second language using “immersion.” Leading language experts have demonstrated that complete immersion in the second language (i.e. speaking and hearing only the second language for a period of time) is the most efficient and effective way to get children thinking and speaking a second language.
-Expose children to a second language as spoken by native speakers. Children who are exposed early to a second language can develop a native-like fluency that adults and older children can never match. Parents who are not native speakers themselves can expose their children to the sounds of a native speaker through language classes, videos, and music.
-Repetition is the key to language learning. Children need to be exposed to words repeatedly to gain mastery of them. Ideally, children should be exposed to similar words in different contexts (e.g. through songs, skits, poems, and stories) to build and reinforce the vocabulary.
-Offer an immersion program that is compelling and kid-friendly! Whether introduced in the classroom, at home, or on video, a good language program should be able to entertain and educate young learners with themes, songs, stories and characters that are uniquely appealing to children. Captivating children’s interest is essential to creating an environment that promotes an enjoyable and effective learning experience for children.
Whistlefritz Keys to Success
- Preview videos to familiarize yourself with content and vocabulary.
- Select a video as a general introduction to Spanish or French.
- Start from the beginning of the Spanish or French Lesson Plans for Kids curriculum, working through the lesson plans in sequence for structure.
- Lesson Plans reference specific audio-visual Extension Activities incorporating videos and music into lessons.
- More than 50 flashcards are included with Lesson Plans, plus additional flashcards located in the bonus free lesson plans designed to incorporate Spanish or French into your daily routine.
- Memory Matching Card game gives practice reviewing 25 verbs for vocabulary-building.
- Engaging songs review vocabulary from a native speaker for sing-a-longs.
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