Learning a new language is fun, but could be even more fun and interesting if you and your child learn together. Whether he or she is taking a class in school and you would like to learn too or there's a class offered through your city's parks and recreation department that you can both sign up for, learning a language with your child and all the activities you can do with it could be great fun.
Things You Will Need
Bilingual visual dictionary
Audio tapes with learning exercises by a native speaker
Language book or workbook with written exercises
Step 1Sign up for a class. Ideally, both you and your child would enroll in a beginning language class together. If it's not possible for both of you to take the class, at least one of you needs to be in a class to learn correct pronunciation. Even if your child is in elementary school and is taking a class during or after school, they will be able to help you learn pronunciation and new vocabulary words.
Step 2Purchase (or check out from the library) a good bilingual visual dictionary. Especially if this is your first exposure to the language, a really good visual dictionary will help you and your child learn new vocabulary words quickly.
Step 3Find a native speaker. If you can find a native speaker of the language you are learning in your area, ask if they will tutor you and your child once a week. A native speaker can help you learn common spoken phrases and correct pronunciation that can be difficult to discern from a book.
Step 4Listen to audio tapes or CDs. Listening to native speakers of the language you are learning will be very beneficial. Not only will you hear correct pronunciation, but you will also hear the emphasis on syllables and words and the flow of sentences and phrases. Playing the language tapes in the car is a fun activity when you're running errands or coming home from school.
Step 5Create flashcards with beginning nouns, verbs and pronouns and try to practice every night with your child, even if it's only for ten minutes. Take turns quizzing each other from the flashcards and do it both ways where you see the English word and have to say it in the other language and also where you see the foreign word and have to say it in English.
Step 6Complete workbook lessons. Once a week, do a lesson in your textbook or workbook. Review the lesson together and then do the written work either together, separately or taking turns. Use these lessons as part of your material to create the flashcards for additional language exposure.
Step 7Go eat. Visiting an authentic restaurant to try the food that is from a country where the language you're learning is spoken is an interesting activity that will add depth to your language-learning experience. You might not learn a whole lot about the language while you're there, but you may learn a bit about the culture and the more well-rounded your exposure is to a language, the better you will learn it. If there isn't a restaurant near you, research simple recipes online so that you can try some of the flavors and ingredients at home.
Step 8Visit the library. As part of your language-learning experience, check out some books from the library that are about the country (or countries) where the language you're learning is spoken. Don't forget to look for children's books in the language, since they use simpler vocabulary and grammar and are fun to read. With even a basic understanding of the language, both you and your child will enjoy reading them together.
Step 9Play creative games. Using your new vocabulary words, play creative games at home to help build each other's language skills. Try having a contest to see who can name the most items in the living room, for example.
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