Garanimals Blog

September 6th, 2012 at 5:01 am

Ways to introduce older children to a new language

Although I’m the first one to say that the best age to introduce your child to a second language is at birth, I’m also a huge believer that it’s never ever too late to do so. That’s why, if you’re bilingual and you’ve thinking of introducing your older child to your second language but don’t know how, here are some ideas to make the whole situation as smooth as possible:

First, you need to have a little chat with your child to explain why it’s a good idea for him to speak a second language. You can talk about the benefits, but also all the reasons why speaking another language is fun.

Once your child knows your reasons, maybe you can designate one day of the week to be Spanish (or another second language) day, like Spanish Saturday, for example. And that’ll become the day both you and him know that only Spanish is spoken at home. Obviously, he might not understand everything you’re saying at the beginning and you’ll probably have to do some translating, but ideally you’ll be using mostly Spanish.

Another option is to enroll him in Spanish lessons. Teaching kids Spanish has become so popular that you’d be surprised how many places are offering children’s lessons these days.

If you have an iPad, you should be able to find some cool Apps for him in Spanish. The same goes for online games in Spanish.

Good luck!

Photo Credit: John-Morgan

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s currently working on her first book, based on her blog, to be published in September. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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