Incorporating languages at home from a young age has a limitless amount of benefits. From better listening skills to an improved memory, there really aren’t many reasons why you wouldn’t want your child to learn a second language.
Here at HeySpanish, we run online Spanish lessons - which you can read more about here - that are engaging, educational but most importantly - fun! There have been loads of studies into the benefits of having fun whilst learning, some of which you can read by clicking this this link. Whilst we apply our motto ‘Learn Spanish the Fun Way’ to all that we do, we also believe that this can and should be incorporated at home too.
We have made a list of 6 creative and interactive ways that you can incorporate languages at home to help your child (or even yourself!) learn languages.
This is a simple and cost-effective way of incorporating languages at home and prompting your child to learn simple household items. It’s as easy as writing down the foreign translation of an appliance on a Post-It note and sticking it onto that appliance! For example, you could write down ‘refrigerador’ on a Post-It note and place it on your refrigerator at the height of your child.
This way, even if your child doesn’t actively think about reading the Post-It note, it will always be in their eye-level view and they will see it every time they open or walk past the fridge.
You can use this idea all over the house. Use them to label your sink (lavabo), toilet (baño) and bedrooms (dormitorio) and everything in between! You can also run a fun test to see how much your child has learned! At the end of the week you could mix them up and ask your child to put them back in the correct location! Change the notes each week or two to keep building your child’s vocabulary.
Online language lessons not only allow you to have some time to yourself, but also for your child to learn with qualified teachers whilst also interacting with other children.
At HeySpanish, we run fun and creative online lessons for children aged 3-6 and 7-10 years old. We teach Spanish through the use of singing, dancing, storytelling and so much more. We find that encouraging our little learners to have fun during lessons, allows them to learn Spanish more readily as they're enjoying themselves!
Want to experience these benefits for yourself? Check our a clip from our lesson below and sign up for a free trial lesson with HeySpanish here to start watching your child learn a language!
A great idea to help your child pick up key language phrases at home, is through adding foreign subtitles to your TV. This simple yet effective idea is an easy way to both get your child to learn a language!
What’s more, it doesn’t require much effort from your child. Whether they focus on the words or not, it will always be in their line of view. So slowly but surely, by incorporating languages at home, your child will naturally be able to start associating certain foreign words and phrases with its translation.
Plenty of research has been carried out in assessing this idea’s effectiveness and this website summarises them brilliantly. Be sure to give it a read to discover the multiple benefits of incorporating foreign language subtitles at home!
Bedtime stories are well-loved in every family household. It allows bonding time between both parents and children whilst also helping your child go (finally) get to sleep after long, busy days.
Whilst every child has their favourite bedtime book why not add in a foreign language book once or twice a week? Language learning books are also a great option if you don’t speak the language yourself!
Why not check out our own children’s book ‘Learn Spanish with Pepe’? It’s the perfect bedtime story as it both entertains and educates. The story, which is about a young parrot that goes to nursery for the first time, is beautifully illustrated. Not only this, but each story comes with it’s own original song which you can stream online! So, what are you waiting for? Click here to learn more about the book and start learning Spanish today!
This innovative idea to incorporate languages at home has come from @thecurlymoma - a parent raising bilingual children.
Speaking to HeySpanish she says that ‘My name is Ana and I have 2 kids and a step son. We are a mixed family, my husband only speaks English and I am native Spanish speaker. Living in the USA where English is the main language has given me a very strong desire in my heart to raise my kids bilingual to connect with family members and their culture. I would love to share with you a tip that has helped my family grow into a bilingual family…’
‘Everytime you go on walks, car rides point out your everyday things in the language you are working on, after a few times they will remember the words and sentences to their everyday life.’
We absolutely love this idea - it’s such a simple way to incorporate languages at home yet is also so effective! So next time you’re with your child, whether that’s at home or out and about - be sure to drop a few words in your chosen language about the objects around you.
Photo of and by @thecurlymoma
A great way to incorporate languages at home, without the pressure of a typical classroom environment, is by making dinner with them. You could make your favourite dinner or a froeign themed dish like Paella! All you have to do is translate and label the different ingredients and ask them to pass you them in that language!
You can also continue the learning at the dinner. Ask for cutlery and sauces in the language as well! It’s a win-win situation - not only will your child be more willing to eat different foods as a result of them making it, but they will also learn languages along the way.
Check out our own original HeySpanish simple salad recipe below that you can try out with all the translations included!
The most important thing that you can do to foreground your child’s learning is to build habits. It’s when learning becomes monotonous and boring that children get bored and lose focus. Use these tips to incorporate language learning seamlessly into your day to day life. Then, before you know it, not only will your child be learning a new language - but so will you!