5 Activities to Encourage Language Development
To expose to a more extensive vocabulary, kids need many opportunities to apply what they have learned in their language development classes. The standard language class, whether running in a school or a weekend class, often has issues with too rigid teaching methods, boring written exercises, or a lack of opportunities for kids to use the language beyond the class. Practicing a new phrase or a word may also be intimidating, specifically for kids with a higher effective filtration system or negative psychological factors that may hinder language learning.
An excellent way to give kids meaningful opportunities to use their learning and turn negative feelings into positive ones is to make learning fun! Language teachers and parents alike will find that by using activities that produce learning participation and fun, kids are more likely to participate and plunge in. Having a great time while learning also helps kids retain language skills better because the experience is exciting and easy to store in their memory.
1- Learn the language with songs
Almost all kids are in some way encouraged to sing a foreign song at some stage. Music is also at the top of the list of fun-way-of-learning-a-language. To find artists who sing in the language your kids are learning, check out the playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, or the type of music channel your kid favor. Type the name of your chosen language + music (e.g., Spanish music), and you should get a variety of songs or playlists for you to choose from.
Listen actively to make the most of it: let your kids listen to it a few times, find lyrics and look up the meaning. Remember, they DON’T have to understand every single word of the song! While the music sinks in, your kids will sing along with the language; eventually, the meaning will register in their language skill memory. This will be a slow and fun process; tell your kids they don’t have to struggle, enjoy the sing-along, and it will become natural after they have mastered the song completely!
2- Learn the language with karaoke
You might want to laugh, karaoke? Yes, learning to sing is different than sing-along with karaoke, as if you are singing to an audience. This will not only develop your kids’ pronunciation skills and get them to focus on getting the sounds as closer to the original singers as possible but also; it will improve kids’ confidence as if they are singing for real, at a show or on TV if you want to push it a little.
But make the step smaller at a time; first, let your kids practice on their own while there’s no one in the house, or let them do it in the shower. When they are fully confident, you can suggest you, as a parent, be his first audience; if it goes well, they can record themselves and upload it onto YouTube or sing in front of the whole family and friends!
There are tons of kids recording themselves singing on YouTube; this can also be used to encourage your kids to act up! If other kids can do it, why not you?!!!
Many YouTube videos also provide karaoke practice, with lyrics displayed with the music. It saves you buying your karaoke equipment for your kids. Give it a try, and you might be surprised at its effectiveness!
3- Learn nursery rhymes
‘Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear, one step, two steps, tickly under there!’ A rhyme like this is easy to remember and sticks in your kid’s head like magic! Every language will have similar rhymes that are easy to pronounce and remember!
The only thing to take notice of is to choose the one with vocabulary still relevant to modern days. You don’t want kids to learn the words that no longer mean the same thing from the rhyme.
Ask language teachers to give some suggestions; this will provide you with an accurate selection to learn from. Your kids will find fun in learning which is the main goal to achieve. The happier they see in learning a language, the more they would like to know!
4- Find a language meetup group
Somewhere in your area, there are most likely groups of kids and parents learning the same language as you are. Search for them in your local library, community center, or supermarket notice board. You will likely find some information promoting the group.
In North West England, the UK, where I live, not only can you find local language learning groups in the above local centers, you can find these groups via Facebook and Eventbrite, and there’s even an App called ‘Meetup’; most of these are free. If not, they do not charge a fortune for you to attend the regular meetup group.
You can go with your kids to these language learning groups; it provides opportunities to meet new friends and practice speaking in real life, which is essential for language learning. If you let your kids go on their own, please make sure the group is suitable to your kids’ age, i.e., they are supervised by adults with specific security clearances.
5- Learn the language by watching TV
Watching TV is not always a waste of time for learning. So pause our keen brains for a moment and just put some rubbish TV on! The mass picture and conversation do not have to make sense; as long as your kids are having fun, they will pick up a few phases!
Particularly with top-performance acting, some language conversation is straightforward to understand. Kids can start to imitate them straightforwardly and have a laugh at the same time! Some Reality TV programs provide a perfect opportunity for your kids to practice hearing skills and pick up slang words that are used more frequently than the language phrases they learn from a book.
If you enjoy this post, please comment below, have a good day wherever you are!