General Question

LKidKyle1985's avatar

How to teach kids a second language?

Asked by LKidKyle1985 (6589points) July 29th, 2008

I was just trying to think of the easiest ways to teach young kids how to be speak another language. Assuming you are already fluent in the language you are teaching them. I think it would be a definite benefit for them when they got older, so i was just curious if anyone had any ideas

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13 Answers

aisyna's avatar

if the kid is young just talk to them in the languge you want them to know. what my parents did with me is my dad would always talk to me in spanish and my mom in english so i would learn bith, it worked for me and my brother

whiteowl's avatar

aisyna says truth!
talk to them & make them feel comfort with it…
Kids learn very fast!
give them books and pictures with words in language you want them to know…

Magnus's avatar

Kids under the age of ten learns new languages at a much faster rate than adults because the brains language center isn’t fully developed at this age.

I say; speak the secondary language as much as you can with them (I’m guessing you already speak this secondary language). You’ll be amazed how fast they learn.

intro24's avatar

Muzzy. Definetly Muzzy.

iwamoto's avatar

i don’t actually remember learning german, it just happened, english was a matter of finishing monkey island 2 and working on from there…

whattodo2's avatar

I’ll second the Muzzy recommendation. This program is used all over the world. Cartoon-style characters on DVD are perfect for kids as young as one or two years, who start imitating the dialog without realizing they’re picking up another language. I like it because parents don’t have to know the language at all for kids to learn it. They even offer it in Chinese! Check out

flameboi's avatar

Get a foreing maid, and ask her to speak to your kid in her native language, amazing results :)

St.George's avatar

re: Muzzy is that for real? I mean it costs like $700. Does it really work? Have you used it?

LKidKyle1985's avatar

all very good ideas and thanks, And its funny, i remember seeing those muzzy advertisements on tv as a kid lol. totally forgot about them till now

rowenaz's avatar

I don’t want to hijack this thread, but adults and children learn differently – a child isn’t necessarily a better language learner, when speaking in terms of speaking fluency, versus academic language. What whiteowl and aisyna said are most important, but what really is most effective is language interaction, which is why audio-lingual and rote memorization techniques ultimately are ineffective. Make the language COME ALIVE by not only having your child hear it, read it, and interact on a computer, but have them USE IT and ENCOUNTER it in meaningful areas – or through the child’s favorite topic. For example, if your child is crazy about mummies, bring him/her to a museum and talk about the mummies ASK QUESTIONS about the mummy in the target language. Give the child an exciting and stimulating reason to PRODUCE the language with you or other children. Arrange play groups in that language. Play word games while you drive – because language is really another set of synonyms that they child can encounter.


Hope this helps! They are very interesting articles, especially the first and the third.

dellegazze's avatar

@rowenaz: Or better yet, if they want to learn about mummies, teach them Middle Egyptian. :p

rowenaz's avatar

What are you talking about? My daughter writes in hieroglyphics to my sister when she doesn’t want me to know what she is telling her….little freaking pain in my ass….

whiteowl's avatar

i know what you mean :)
My grandma knows english and me…nobody else in my family does…so we cheat some times LOL

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