Bosley, the Language Bear

How to make language learning fun for your children?

Children learn things quicker and faster if taught in a playful and fun manner. One of the most exciting way for your child to learn new words is an outdoor trip or any sort of outdoor activities. Your child will see new and interesting objects and will ask you what they are, you can teach them children-playingabout the object, and at the same time have them learn its name in two or more languages. Another fun way of learning a new language is by letting your child play with children from different communities. You will be amazed how many words your child picks up from the other children during play time. Outdoor play is not just important for learning a language, it is also important in the social, intellectual and individual development of a child.

The internet can be the most resourceful tool for you to teach your child a language. There are too many resources, interesting games, guides and language vocabularies are available online that you can use. Children can learn and enjoy the activities at the same time. It is important to gain the focus of your child, and your child will only be immersed in learning completely if he or she is enjoying it. You can teach your children new words during any time of the day, at play time, lunch time or dinner. Ask them to name the objects they see at the dinner table in one or more languages of your choice. You can also use some funny sounding words in that foreign language occasionally to make your children laugh, making teaching a fun thing. It’s common that these funny sounding words will stick out in your child’s mind and will be much easier to remember than some of the more boring words.  Often you can use a reward for your children to encourage progress and continued learning.

It is a great idea to take your children on a trip to the country where that foreign language is spoken officially. This way child will be exposed to the real speakers of that language, and will get a close look at the culture and the people, and will understand the importance of that language. If you want your child to learn your native language, you can arrange trips to your home country occasionally, and this close interaction with the language speakers will benefit your child a lot. As parents, you can think of new, exciting and creative ways to make the language lessons enriching and fun for your child. You can play board games in the foreign language with your child, you can watch cartoons with them, or read out story books to your child in a foreign language. You can go out on a picnic with your children and make them learn about the different things surrounding you, in a number of languages. All these are fun and exciting ways in which your child can learn lots of words and phrases in a playful manner.

Explore the Great Outdoors to Teach your Child a New Language

Parents should always be coming up with new, creative and exciting ways of language learning for their children. Children have an incredible ability to learn and absorb a new language; you can make the process a lot more fun and exciting for them, if you incorporate outdoor activities into their kidbugdaily language learning routines. You may take your children for a walk in the woods, for a fun and adventurous learning spree. You can take your children to a football game and make them learn a few words in the new language. Encourage outdoor play in your children and let them mingle with children from other communities, it is a great way for a child to learn a new language. Outdoor play brings up some exciting and creative activities for children, and they can learn and retain words faster and with ease.

You can make a list of the things children commonly see outside, and make them repeat the words at home, too. If you are planning a walk in the woods, it is a great idea to reinforce memory and learning. Your children can see so many objects, animals and plants, and you can encourage them learn the names of those objects in one or more languages. For example, your child is learning English in school, but you also want them to learn Spanish, during your trip you can name different objects in Spanish. Here are a few examples that you could use during your trip to the woods, such as, if it is a sunny day, sunny in Spanish is “soleado”, rainy in Spanish is “lluvioso”, windy is “ventoso”, and cloudy is “nublado”. A map in Spanish is called as “mapa”, a bicycle is called as “bicicleta”, a car is “coche”, and boat is “barco”. When you go outside for a road trip or a walk, there are so many animals and birds to look at and so many new words to explore.

You can teach the names of different animals, birds and plants in Spanish. A bird in Spanish is called as “pajaro”, dog is “perro”, a cat is “gato”, and a fish is “pez”. You can see a variety of plants and trees during an outdoor trip, you can teach the names of these plants in Spanish, too. A leaf in Spanish is “hoja”, a tree is “arbol”, grass is “hierba”, flower is “flor”, bush is “arbusto”, and weed is “mala hierba”. So these are some basic words that your child could learn during the road trip or a walk in the woods. These are the objects you would come across commonly while outdoors.

In language learning, repetition is the key to success, you should keep repeating these words even at home, you can ask your children to make a list of the objects they saw during the trip, and ask them to write the names of those objects in both English and Spanish. Outdoor activities are a great way to make your children learn some new words, while having fun and adventuring. After a walk in the woods, engage your children in a discussion at home and ask them about the most interesting things they saw. Then you can teach the names of those things in Spanish. Out door activities are an integral apart of a child’s learning phase, so encourage your children to go out more, and engage in playful and fun activities.

Today’s Children Will Need Better Foreign Language Skills Than Their Parents

Learning a foreign language is a skill that will help your child excel in his academics, it will help your child communicate well in a foreign culture, and there is a constant demand in the work force for people who can speak foreign languages today. Why more and more parents are enrolling theirParents_Children children in language learning courses now? It is because there is a constant surge of globalization, and if you want your child to be the best both on a professional and personal level, you should get him or her enrolled in a language class, or start home teaching. Learning a foreign language not only makes you more competitive, but also enhances your child’s memory, listening ability, focus, creativity, task management and critical thinking.

Children should start learning a foreign language at elementary or kindergarten level, you must enroll your child in a foreign language course before the age of 10 years, if you want him to be fluent and proficient in that particular language. Neurologists and researchers have now confirmed that making your child bilingual has great benefits for your child, the children who could speak a foreign language scored better in aptitude tests, SAT, and verbal tests. Elementary teachers and school management are now thinking out of the box, breaking the norm of being monolingual, and emphasizing on introducing foreign language as a compulsory part of the curriculum. There are some really popular languages around the globe which can be taught at school level, such as, Spanish, French, mandarin Chinese, Russian and others.

If you look at the estimate, only 5-6% of world’s population speaks English as their native language. If you stay monolingual, you are restricting your ability to global communication, cultural understanding, educational and personal development. As a parent, staying monolingual must have worked for you in that time, but you should not deprive your child of the fascinating and enriching experience he could have by learning a new language. There are certain occupations, such as medicine, business, and education, where bilingualism can be a highly beneficial trait for your child. As mentioned above, there is an ever increasing search of global work force who can speak more than one language. Being bilingual can increase the understanding and sensitivity towards different cultures and people from different back grounds.

If you want your child to survive in the global community as a successful and confident individual, you should enroll them in a language class, if it is not offered at their schools.  Being bilingual or multilingual can make your child more competent in the global society, and with the prospect of job market getting rough every day, you need to focus on improvising and improving your child’s skills. In US, there are more multilingual people than you may think; Spanish is the most commonly spoken language after English and after Spanish, French is the most commonly spoken home language in the US. There is an increasing global tendency of learning Chinese and Arabic, too. Children who are bilingual have greater acceptance and tolerance towards different cultures, and it broadens their prospective of thinking. So, learning a foreign language is not only good for your child’s brain health, but will also give your child ample social advantage, and help him become a successful part of the global workforce.

The Difficulties and Reward of Raising a Bilingual Child

Raising a bilingual child is definitely a challenging task if it’s a new language for both parents and the child. But, there are various misconceptions and myths associated with bilingualism, such as; many believe that teaching two languages simultaneously can make your child inept at learning 512qIt8SqtL._SL160_any of the two fluently. However, research has proved that this is just a misconception; a child has an innate ability to learn two or more languages at the same time. Many parents’ believe teaching two languages at the same time can be a burdensome task for their child, this is not true. Recent findings have suggested that all infants have a biological capacity for multilingualism, so there is no way your child cannot learn a foreign language at an early age.

If you are introducing a foreign language in your home, such as, Spanish, use it as frequently as you can and make sure rest of the family speaks the language, too. A conscious effort is required to make the process effortless, try this tip, one parent speaks with the child in English, and the other parent speaks in Spanish only, so that the child is exposed to both the languages at consistent levels.  If you have exposed your child to both languages since birth, there won’t be any difficulty for your child in learning it. A child can learn anything if taught at an early age, you need to make as much time as you can and spend with your child. It is not an exceptional phenomenon to raise bilingual children in rest of the world, as 70% of the world’s population is bilingual, but in the UK and US, it is still a rare phenomenon. You can make it work if you are motivated enough, patient and committed to your goal.

If you want your child to learn your minority language or a foreign language, your child should be able to enjoy the language learning process.  It is important to surround your child with the people and children of your community, or the community of that foreign language. Children tend to ignore the minority language, or home language, when they realize that the official language has a high stature. Your child may reject the minority language altogether, here as a parent you have to work, immerse the child in your minority language to such an extent, that he or she realizes its importance and your culture. Even if the child’s response is not always enthusiastic, you have to keep trying, perseverance is the key. With so many bilingual books and online tools in hand, there should not be any problem with your child learning a foreign language. You have to be consistent and repetitive, like all other parenting tasks, take it as a parenting challenge as well.

The key for a child to learn a new language is parental involvement and commitment, it may take from a couple of years to four years for your child to fluently speak and read that language, but the effort is totally worth it. As a parent, it’s your duty to keep the child involved, motivated and immersed in the language learning process. If you make the process enjoyable and comforting for your child, he or she will acquire the new language in less time. Encourage your child whenever he speaks or learns a new word, provide them with incentives, and stop worrying about the myths and misconceptions.

Dual Language Activities for Toddlers

There are a number of activities which can help toddlers and babies to learn a new language. For a toddler, the most important language that little_boy_reading_clip_artcreates a special bond and connection is the language of love, care and affection. As a parent, it is important that you spend most of the time with your toddler and converse with the baby in your home language. Older siblings can also help the young sibling in learning the home language. You can teach your baby some basic words in your language, so the baby can respond to the questions you ask in a similar manner, words for feeding, nap time and other routines can be taught. It is important for the baby to pick up a few words in the home language; you can introduce a foreign or second language gradually with it.

Play-time is the best time when he or she can easily learn new words and phrases. Toddlers begin to recognize and use words related to their toys or activities they love, such as a ball, stroller, hug, waving good bye. While your baby is playing with his or her favorite toy, you can teach the name of the toy, or give any name to their favorite toy, make them learn the new word in two languages. You can make your baby respond to yes or no, milk, or sleep time, you should notice what words your baby is trying to say. You can get some wonderful story books in different languages, and read them out loud to your baby every night. As a parent, your observation skills should be good; you should be able to guess the mood of your baby.

Here are a few words which you can teach your baby in both English and Spanish: The word “milk” is pronounced in Spanish as (la) leche, “more” in Spanish is mas, and “hurt” in Spanish is (el) dolor, “yes” in Spanish is si, and no is no. For teachers in kindergarten, it is important that they learn a few words in the home language of babies who are bilingual. It would be easy for teachers to communicate with the toddler, if they can learn some basic words in the home language of the toddler. Bilingual books are a great resource to foster language learning ability and literary skills in your baby. Remember, your baby has a natural ability to learn a new language, so it will happen naturally and gradually, you cannot force your baby to learn new words.

Toddlers respond very well to music, and you can make them learn new words with the help of bilingual songs. In the process of singing and dancing, you can make your baby learn a lot of new words in the new language. Again, you should not push your child too much, because toddlers are exceptionally moody, daily lesson duration should not be more than 15 or 20 minutes. You can also use audio books, if your child is not too keen in reading story books; it all comes down to what your child enjoys doing the most. For example, consider a simple lesson, if your child is playing with fruits, you can teach him the name of the fruits in two languages you intend to teach. So, there are a lot of home learning activities you can do with your toddler, you can also avail various resources online to make the learning process fun and worthwhile for your toddler.

20 Spanish Words Every English Speaking Child Should Know

Learning Spanish is a popular culture in the US now; more and more parents are considering bilingualism a strong trait and sending their children spanishto language learning school and tuitions. Spanish is one of the largest spoken languages on earth, and learning it can have a good impact on your personal and professional life. As a business developer, you can reach out to ever growing Hispanic consumers, and generate great revenues. So, learning Spanish can be really helpful for your child in different stages of life. Research shows us that 30% of your child’s waking time should be spent in teaching him language, if you want your baby to be fluent in that language, and the earlier you start teaching your child, the better; you can start giving language lessons right at your home, when your baby reaches the age of six months. Here is a list of popular Spanish words that English speaking children should know:

1- Let’s start with the words we use to greet some one, for example, “see you”, in Spanish see you is “hasta la vista” and in Spanish thank you is “gracias”. How are you is “como estas”, fine is “regular”, and what is your name in Spanish is “como te llamas”.

2- Now we come to some basic words we use in our daily routine, such as, lunch in Spanish is “el almuerzo”, and dinner is “la cena”. Drink in Spanish is “la bebida”. Juice in Spanish is pronounced as “el jugo” and steak is “el bistec”, and simple water is “el agua”.

3- A few words for praise and disapproval, such as, Good looking in Spanish is “guapo”, big is “grande”, ugly is “feo” and small is “pequeno’.

4- Now some basic words for conversing, such as, excuse me in Spanish is “perdone’, surprised is “sorprendido”. In Spanish children is “ninos’, happy in Spanish is “contento”, new is ‘nuevo”, girl is “la chica”, boy is “el chico”, and son is “el hijo”.

So, these are a few basic words your English speaking child must know. As Spanish is one of the most popular languages in the world, there are more than 400 million speakers of Spanish world wide, in the US alone; there are 35 million Spanish speakers. Learning Spanish can be of great importance if you work in health care, education and business development jobs, it can take your marketing business to leaps and bounds of success. You would be able to communicate well with Hispanic consumers, and access a big market for your services. Not only in professional life, learning Spanish or any other language can make your children smarter and more confident. Learning Spanish can not only open lots of opportunities for your children, but it is fun to learn a new language, especially Spanish. Learning Spanish could be one of the most enjoyable and enriching experience your child can ever have.

 

What problems can my child face while learning a new language?

Learning a foreign language is a skill that develops over time. It can not be done over night, children need to pay focus and complete attention whenproblem they are trying to learn a new language. It sounds like a challenging task, but the outcomes and benefits are enormous. Bilingualism promotes enhanced cognitive ability, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, better scores in aptitude tests, and develops a confident and vibrant personality.

Initially, your child could face a number of problems, but those would be for a limited time, as the skill develops over a period of time. The best time to pick up a new language is when a child is younger, between the ages of two to five years old. The ability to pick a new language is at its peak at this time, and being exposed to new languages from birth is the best way to start.

The major problem most children face is the lack of interest or focus; this is something a parent can develop. You need to work on it; you have to make the entire process enjoyable and fun for them. Make it an enjoyable process for them, so that the children look forward to the learning process. It’s generally best if they do not know they are being taught something; everything should be done in a playful manner. We know how quickly children pick up words from cartoons and songs; it is only because of the fact that they enjoy the whole process. You can introduce your child to bilingual books, music, cartoons, and games at an early age. Elementary teachers can use hand puppets, nursery rhymes and silly songs to introduce new words and phrases to children. Learning a new language should be an exciting and empowering activity for the child.

Motivation is the key to success in learning any skill, you as a parent can motivate your child by speaking the language more often to them. When a child grows up in a home where more than one language is spoken frequently, the child naturally picks up the new language. However, monolingual families may find it a bit tricky to introduce a new language in their household. Keep up the commitment and stay motivated yourself, as a parent if you are consistent and motivate enough, you can make your child learn anything. Some children may not enjoy bilingual books; others may be too fond of their bilingual story books. Every child has a different level of interest, and that you need to identify and work on. You can use audiobooks and bilingual songs, if your child is keener on listening to music.

Many parents worry if they introduce a new language in their home; the child may face problems in picking up both native and foreign language, and won’t stay fluent in any one of those. However, this is just a misconception, a child can learn more than two languages if introduced at an early age. Older children who are introduced to a new language at school or college level are the ones who experience a lot of problems in picking up a new language. It does not mean that children cannot learn foreign languages at college level, it only implies that the earlier you introduce the language; the better would be the results. Try to expose your child to children who fluently speak the language you are trying to teach, or you can take your child to a trip where the foreign language is spoken. The process can be problem-free and it is not as challenging as it sounds, but do remember to support the language at home, as well.

 

What is the role of books in language learning process of children?

Bilingual books play a vital role in the language learning process of children. Whether you are trying to teach your home language or the language at school, books can be your best companion and tool in assisting you in the process. Books can bridge the gap between different languages; there are story books available in multiple languages, which you can buy for your children. Reading and understanding books can help children to excel in their academic skills, too. Books are meant to bring the child and the parent together, children enjoy the quality time they spend with their parents while listening to a bed-time story. Books not only establish a bond between the parent and the child, but also, it helps a child get familiar with parent’s culture and native language.

Even before your child goes to kindergarten or pre-school, you can start reading out loud quality bed-time stores and stories with illustrations, images and pictures. You can gain your child’s full attention and make him or her learn couple of new words during the process. Learning and getting a grasp on more than one language is a skill that your child will possess forever, and it will not only help your child attain better grades at school, but also make them sensitive and understanding towards different cultures and languages. It is a best way for both parents and teachers to induce multiculturalism awareness in children right from a very young age. This will breed tolerance, understanding, brotherhood, and a general sense of being part of a global society.

Bilingual books increase curiosity and awareness about different cultures and civilizations in your child. Do not over do the information, keep it to minimal, periodically and gradually start introducing different words in different languages to your child. Older children can create their own bilingual books in school, in their home language or any other; this will not only enhance their skill, but will also boost confidence in them that they know more than one language. Books encourage your child to increase curiosity about a particular language and culture; this will initiate a discussion on that particular topic. Be open to all questions that our child is posing at you, this questing and discussion will increase the knowledge of your child. School going children can have book’s related discussions with their teachers and fellow class mates.

Books can play a great role in understanding a language, children would be able to use these languages as they grow up, and would be able to communicate confidently in multilingual situations. Books can open a new horizon of learning for your child; children relate with the characters and the story in the books and try to implement them in their real life. Therefore, books can be the best mate for you and your child in the process of learning a new language or your native language. You can find a number of quality books where sentences are translated in more than one language, thus making your child be familiar with more than one language simultaneously. As research indicates, making children bilingual has a positive impact on their brains, and it increases their cognitive ability, reading books at an early age will boost the literary skills of the child, too. Get quality books for your children, books that are engaging, captivating and interesting to read.

Importance of sign language in children with learning disabilities

Sign language can be of utmost importance in children with learning disabilities. There are multiple advantages of using sign language, and teaching children languages. Sign language can enhance the development of social, verbal, emotional and intellectual skills in children. Children may suffer from different kinds of learning disabilities; some children experience various learning delays, speech and communication disorders, and delays in social and confidence building skills. Babies start to learn various signs for communication even before they start verbal communication. Babies can start learning sign language when they are six months old, and children with learning disabilities can easily communicate in sign language.

There is a misconception that sign language is only for children with hearing impairment. Gesturing and non-verbal communication makes up a large portion of language, and children who suffer from learning delays and disabilities can benefit a lot from this part of the language. Using sign language stimulates the motor brain function, which is responsible for development of language, communication and social skills. Children who suffer from learning delays, speech impairment, or autism, often experience frustration and aggression, because they are unable to express themselves properly, sign language can be highly beneficial for such children in expressing themselves.

Pre-verbal infants often communicate in sign language, for example, pointing towards food, waving gesture, smiling back at parents, all these are simple forms of sign language. It has been suggested that teaching sign language to babies can accelerate their speech and language learning process. There are different types of learning disabilities, and sign language may stimulate verbal skills in children with such impairments. Once you have identified a certain learning delay or disability in your child, you need to focus on teaching him or her basic signs for communication. These basic signs are the signs to express needs, such as, need to eat, sleep, drink and others. With the help of sign language, you will be able to communicate with your child as early as six months of age.

Teaching sign language can help build a strong relationship between parent and the child, and will reduce the frustration significantly that is associated with lack of communication. Teaching the first sign can take a few minutes to a number of days, but it will give you a huge relief when the baby would start communicating with you. Be patient during the whole process, baby will start responding to you gradually. Any child can benefit from learning sign language; learning sign language at toddler stage accelerates the brain’s ability to develop verbal skills and speech. Teaching sign language reduces the communication gap between you and your child, children who can’t develop verbal skills at toddler stage due to any disability, would be able to communicate with their parents, well.

With the help of sign language you can not only teach gestures, but also words and phrases. Therapists suggest using sign language as a tool in developing verbal skills in children with verbal delays. There is a misconception that sign language delays speech, but in fact, signing is the best way to communicate with non-verbal infants. Also, it does not mean that a child with a learning disability is low in intelligence in any way. Children are fascinated by sign language and they respond to it well, also, it develops a special bond and relationship between you and your child. So, start teaching your infant basic signs and you are sure to discover many benefits.