Tips for Teaching Bilingualism to Children
Being someone who is fluent in two languages will build strength in the child’s brain. A child’s brain that understands two languages is a brain that has better concentration and is able to take turns doing various tasks. Children also have a much better memory with the two languages they learn.
In addition to school-age children, babies who understand two languages also have the potential to have much better learning and memory abilities than those who understand only one language. Children who can speak two languages are also able to study books and literature from foreign languages so that their insights become much broader.
Understanding two languages including a foreign language certainly makes it easier for children when they have to interact with people from different countries. Surely this will help children when traveling abroad.
What Are the Tips for Teaching Bilingualism to Children?
1. Don’t Speak in Baby Tongue
Children with two language skills certainly have much better academic grades, especially in learning to count and read. There are lots of ways you can educate children with two languages or bilinguals.
The first way is not to speak the baby’s language, even though the baby cannot speak a word yet. It should be noted that the first 1 year in a baby’s life turns out to be the most important time to build a language foundation.
Babies are human beings who process the structure and meaning of language long before they learn to speak. Then you can respond to baby chatter with real words, by not speaking baby language. You can do this even though the baby cannot understand the meaning of these words.
It should be noted that the part of the brain in babies can regulate language and speech skills so that they are stimulated when we talk to babies. The more languages they hear, the more developed parts of the brain that process language skills.
2. Introducing Two Languages
When children have started learning to speak, surely they can already understand the differences in the several languages that you use when speaking to them. Children who are exposed to two languages from birth have a much easier time mastering the two languages that are more fluent.
Raising children with two languages at the age of five will certainly be much better because as children grow, their adaptation to sound and language will continue to decrease. Beyond the age of 6 to 7, it is very difficult for him to make connections with a new language.
Of course it is more difficult to teach other languages to children in elementary school than preschool or preschool. You can also introduce two languages from infancy or even when the baby is newborn. Your little one will certainly find it easier to adapt for a long time to these existing languages.
The way you can raise bilingual children is by doing fun activities. You can fill the house with music or singing and watch cartoons and so on. When the words are connected with rhymes and melodies as in a poem or song, it is easier for children to remember them.
3. Give Example of Speaking
One of the most effective ways of raising a bilingual child is to set an excellent example when speaking. One of them is when you want your child to be fluent in English. So, you should often chat with the child in English.
You also don’t have to worry about what if you are not fluent in English. Then you can study together with your child and show enthusiasm in learning the language. You can also take language classes with your little one or do fun activities together like singing or watching movies.
4. Father and Mother Speak Different Languages
The most common thing that happens to children who are equipped with two languages is when they are confused about identifying languages. To prevent this, you can do a special method, namely fathers and mothers who use different languages.
The mother should always speak Indonesian to the child while the father always speaks English. This activity will make it easier for children to distinguish between Indonesian and English. This of course will work very well if mom and dad have to spend the same amount of time with their little one.
5. Get used to it in everyday life
Teaching children a new language at school usually tends to be more difficult because it has to be applied in everyday life. This happens because they are often not interested, which children can automatically absorb without realizing it so learning it is much easier.
You can also use the language as much as you like because the key to raising a bilingual child is that. To be proficient in language, of course, children must apply existing language as often as possible.
Children are certainly very adaptable and cognitively flexible so they more easily grasp the meaning of a new language. Meaning in a new language also makes children feel comfortable with the language compared to adults learning the language.
How to Effectively Learn Two Languages?
You can also take advantage of technology which is an effective way to learn two languages. You can show videos on language learning for children which are very effective tools. Also look for videos that rely on the culture of the country, not only the language, because learning is effective with the existing language style.