Promoting Dual Language Building at School
Eighty percent of parents believe that children should learn a second language prior to graduating high school. If you missed the young years to introduce a new language to your child, there are still plenty of opportunities for your child to learn another language effectively once they are school age. Schools play an important role in language acquisition. By taking courses in other languages, students have the ability to learn new languages where they otherwise could not do so, if parents only speak one language at home. Incremental learning does provide a pathway to becoming bilingual, or multilingual. If you want your child to get the most language acquisition out of their school foreign language courses, consider the following strategies:
Enroll in a foreign language class as soon as it is offered at your school. For some, this may be an elementary school exploratory class, for others, it may be high school.
Once enrolled, stick with it! The longer students are enrolled in classes, the more likely they will acquire a second language.
Use technology to supplement your child’s learning; there are dozens of apps that are engaging, and make learning fun outside of the classroom. Explore language acquisition apps such as Duolingo or Babbel.
Look for clubs or camps where there are other students who are interested in learning the same language. By signing your child up for these opportunities, your child can also experience different culturally relevant activities to solidify their learning and make deeper connections to the language.
Consider opportunities for studying abroad, exchange programs, or finding zoom partners through trusted language school sources.
Learning another language can begin as early or late in life as desired. Consider taking this step in encouraging and creating the ability to expose your children to another language in order to set them up for success now and in the future.