Think you can't teach your kids another language? Think again!
Every now and then, usually when I'm perusing a menu at a French restaurant, the memories of my high school-required language classes come flooding back. I'm not talking the actual language here, just the memories of how impossibly hard it was for me to pick up another language at age 16! And not surprisingly, not much of it stuck - well, besides the names of the wonderful French food!
I know that languages come easier to some, and probably not the more science-minded students like me. But I also believe that learning another language so late in life really is hard. So, just what is the perfect age to start learning more than one language?
Many studies highlight that children who grow up with more than one language tend to do very well with each one. Parents who expose their babies, from birth, to one, two, or three languages at a time, find that the kids have no problem picking up each and every language like a native. When each of my daughters was born, both my husband and mother-in-law began to speak to them solely in German. I of course, spoke to them solely in English, the only language I’ve been able to master in my lifetime!
It has been an amazing phenomenon to watch! Both of my kids speak and understand not only German and English, but also Spanish which they have picked up from their babysitter. What amazes me the most is that they always know which language to speak with each individual. They’ll be in full-on German conversational mode with their dad, and if he happens to ask them something about mommy, they’ll turn to me and reply in English. Their little brains just seem to get it when they start that young.
Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the multiple languages as the kids grow up and start school. Even though they speak a lot of German at home, English is always the default language for them. So, we’ve learned that if you want them to hold on to the other languages, you really have to work on it make a conscious effort not to speak English all of the time.
I’ve been lucky having another parent around to keep them speaking and learning a second language. But what can you do if you or others who spend time with your children don’t speak anything but English? Well, that’s just the question that mom turned entrepreneur, Caryn Antonini set out to answer. She created a new, innovative learning tool called Early Lingo. Caryn makes it easy for any parent to set their kids, of all ages, on the path to learning multiple languages with her interactive, and fun immersion method.
Interested in finding out more about Early Lingo? We’re giving away an Early Lingo Prize Pack, including a set of DVD’s as well as a DVD player to get you started. Click here to enter!
--Andra Davidson, Lifetime Moms