When to Teach a Baby a Second Language

Infants have an ability to mimic the sounds they hear around their environment, and this is when they are able to learn the language that is commonly used by parents or caregivers. Scientists believe that a child starts narrowing down to a specific language or languages once they are 10 months of age. If intending to teach your child a second language, there are things that you need to consider to ensure that you do not burden your child with a task that they may not be able to accomplish or have not yet matured enough to learn a new language.

Start Early

As stated earlier, children have the ability to learn a new language once they are 10 months old. It’s important that if you are in a multilingual family, use both languages frequently while communicating with the child and if this time passes, introduce the second language after the child has reached 2 1/5 years. This will ensure that the child has learnt the vocabularies of the first language before introducing them to the second language.

Find a Class

If your child does not have an opportunity of learning a second language at home, enrol them for a class once they are two years of age. There are various things to consider before choosing the right class, which includes ensuring that the teacher or instructor is a native speaker of the language. The class is fun for the child as it has been proven that they are able to learn a new language in a free and engaging environment and ensuring that you choose the right class in terms of size and length in that some schools offer private lessons which will be to the advantage of the child.

Complement the Learning Experience

If you opt to enrol your child in a language school, you can enhance the learning experience at home where you can introduce your child to some online books or materials related to the second language. You may also invite guests who are fluent in the second language who will assist your child in mastering some of the foreign vocabularies. You can also help your child find a pen pal who is conversant with the second language, and after building this kind of friendship, your child will find it easy learning the new language.

Though many people may view teaching a child a second language as a waste of time, a second language will benefit your child in the following ways:

  • Learn New Cultures

With globalization learning, a new language will help your child understand and learn a new culture, and it opens up opportunities for them in a new country or region. Your child will also be competitive in the job market as they will have an upper advantage, especially when looking for jobs abroad.

  • Understand the Native Language

Learning a second language will help your child understand their native language and be able to better connect with their culture and heritage. Apart from understanding their native language, the child also develops listening and speaking skills, which will help them be more attentive and have a command of a language in future. Learning a new language is also fun, and it will keep your child attentive and engaged all through.