Parents play an important role in their child’s education. When you decide to enroll your children in a language school, immersion program or in online private lessons with a language teacher, you probably do it because you want them to have a life with better career opportunities. You do it because you want them to be bilingual, because you want them to be able to communicate with people from other cultures or because you are married to a person that speaks another language. There are several reasons that might motivate you to make this choice for your children. The most important is probably because you love them so much and you just want the best for them.
As parents you know best what your kids like or dislike, what motivates them, their needs, their interests, what’s the best way for them to learn etc. That's why your role and the communication you have with the teacher during the learning process is so important.
Even if as a parent you have little understanding of the second language your children are learning, it is really important for your participation during the process. You may not be able to provide directions or specific information related to the language, but you will be able to provide support, caring and help give the children the motivation they need to keep them engaged and to achieve their language acquisition goals.
Kids will be more interested in the lessons if they are having fun and have support from their family and peers. Having this support the kids will be more willing to take risks and make mistakes. If they don't feel happy about the lessons, they could end up not liking them and may even become disengaged with trying to learn a new language. Children may block themselves to the point that any new activity or strategy that the teacher implements could potentially be perceived as not fun. This happens not only to kids but also to us as adults. For example, when people don't like or want to do something they tend to procrastinate or put off completing a task due to the previous negative feelings towards the task.
If you decide to enroll your children in online private lessons please take into consideration that there are a few things you can do to get involved in your children’s second language learning process. Remember every child is unique and as parents and teachers we must respect that and let them develop their language naturally.
Show curiosity and interest by asking your children about their lessons, what they learned, what they like, how they feel.
Let them know you can see their progress without putting any additional pressure.
Play roles with your kids, where you are the student and they are your teacher. Let them show you in their own words what they have learned.
Give them attention and encourage them to keep going.
Read books together to increase vocabulary acquisition.
Draw together and have them label vocabulary of what they draw.
Check the resources that are provided on the LudicLanguage website and use them to practice at home.
Create vocabulary flashcards.
Play a wordsearch, board game or online games together related to the language vocabulary.
Talk about their favorite songs, movies, favorite books and other things they are interested in.
Watch cartoons, TV or movies in Spanish or any other language your children are learning.
Make craft activities with your children.
Sing or dance using songs in the language they are learning.
Create and play spelling word games.
Explore interactive learning websites with them.
Use manipulative resources.
Communicate with the teacher to know about the topics they are working on.
Let your children know there is a close communication between you and the teacher and that you and the teacher are working together for their success.
Find cultural events where your children can explore and learn even more about the culture and language.
Ask the teacher for resources, tips, activities or strategies to use at home.
Provide a comfortable place where kids can practice.
Set goals with your children weekly and check the results with them.
Check their spanish notebook or the activities they worked during the lessons.
Create a reward chart to keep them motivated during the learning process.
Check the available resources on the website and practice what they learned between lessons on our Student Resources page: https://www.ludiclanguage.com/students-resources
There is a lot you can do as a parent to help your children engage in the second language acquisition process. Remember the more curious and motivated they feel, the quicker they will show progress.
Luz McClendon - Online Spanish and English Teacher