Mix of motherhood, writing, photography and homemaking

Teaching kids a Language

April 4, 2012

IMG_0027I love learning new languages. Should I have been younger I would have learned all the languages that I possibly could. 😀 I don’t think it’s too late to learn but my brain is not like a kid’s anymore. Theirs are like sponge, you dip it in the water and it will absorb as much as it can.

This is why I train my kids to learn some of the languages I know as early as now. Kids learn differently so do adults, there are those who can easily adapt a language by hearing, there are those who can easily grasp words when associated with colors while there are those who needs spelling out words for them.

As early as a child can speak, train them in hearing different languages whether by repeating words, phrases and sentences in languages you know. For example I tell them what their favorite color is  in German, Spanish, Filipino and Japanese. For red, that’s rot, rojo, pula and aka. For blue, that’s blau, azul, asul and ao. (And yes, with the help of lego blocks.)

Watching TV shows and movies in a different language helps too. Maybe you’re familiar with Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao Kai-Lan, such shows are both helpful and fun. Dora teaches Spanish with the help of a pet monkey, Boots, her Backpack, a map and cousin Diego and an unlikely fox villain called Swiper. Kai-Lan on the other hand teaches its viewers Mandarin Chinese. She is joined by her grandfather, Ye ye, which is Mandarin for paternal grandfather; Rintoo, a Tiger, Tolee, Koala; Hoho, a monkey and Lulu, a rhino, Mr.Sun and the ants. Both shows also teach cultural value and respect to the elderly which is another reason that I, as a mom, enjoy watching. They’ve adapted both shows here but in German and English to help kids familiarize themselves with English. Sadly, it has lost the charm much like an anime dubbed in English. ^_^

There are also playgroups for kids that offer language learning. You can always search online for such playgroups. In most cases, kids that are in such playgroups may be born from parents with one or both foreigners too so it’s good to take that chance to let the kids experience an environment of diversity.

Teaching kids a different language also interest them to know more about a particular country the language is spoken. It’s subconsciously instilling in them the passion to know more about culture, history and geography. They also become more sociable in the process because if they meet someone who can speak the language they know, the first barrier in socializing is already eliminated. With such, kids learn that though people or other kids are different, through language they understand that this difference can be embraced and appreciated.

  1. Seems to be a good way to teach kids but somehow if this is applied to my daughter, I dont think it will work as my daughter is so hard headed on her own ways

  2. actually when nickolodeans turns out to have some shows from malaysia and indonesia I ask my son to change the channel because he may understand it.

  3. It seems so difficult to teach my son many languages.
    Tagalog and English will do. Learning many languages are interesting but for me, it needs TALENT and SKILL.

  4. Lately, the kids are watching cartoons dubbed in German and sometimes I listen to it too. There are times I ask them if they understand it because I can’t. hahaha!

  5. My three-year old knows quite a handful of basic Korean words. My knowledge of Hangul is actually self-taught, thanks to my addiction to Kdramas, Kpop, and the Arirang channel.

    Having learned three different languages (albeit the basics) at a later age, I want to start with my son as early as possible. 🙂

  6. thanks to Dora, my girls are learning english and spanish–I talk to them in Tagalog and my husband in french. the eldest is showing interest in italian,too! and my youngest is saying ni-hao all the time 😉

  7. the potential learning tool kids can get from tv like my youngest on watching Dora, she asks me too many spanish words and its english equivalent.it was such a learning experience for her.
    i have been, for long, fascinated with the french language, i wished one day my kids can learn few languages, too.

    au revoir 🙂

  8. aside from Kai Lan and Dora, my kids also like to watch Upin and Ipin on Disney channel and they learn some Thai words 🙂 You’re right, learning different languages is so much fun 🙂

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