Learning a foreign language AND teaching your kids that language at the same time can be an even more challenging task.
BUT it is possible. In fact, it’s beneficial for both you and your kids. Let me tell you how.
I know that some homeschoolers like to use pre-made foreign language curriculum like Rosetta Stone and Power Speak to teach their kids a foreign language. While these programs are wonderful, using them alone won’t necessarily make your kids fluent in a language, especially when it comes to speaking that language.
That’s why I recommend that a parent (or two) ALSO learn the language so that she or he can dialog with the children in that language. Doing so will help make the children more fluent in the language.
WAIT! I know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking that I must be out of my mind to suggest that YOU learn a foreign language.
But I’m not out of my mind…at least not much…and you CAN learn a language along with your children.
You see, learning a foreign language has mental benefits for YOU as well as your children. As this article describes, learning a foreign language improves memory, enhances one’s ability to multi-task, and more.
So you need not be afraid to start learning another language along with your children. In fact, it can be an enjoyable experience for the whole family.
I would start by getting some basic vocabulary down, and then incorporate that vocabulary into your daily conversations. You can intermix the foreign language words with your native language mid-sentence very easily. Let me give you some examples.
Let’s say your family has been practicing Spanish number vocabulary. You can start using the Spanish number words instead of English words in your daily conversations like this:
“Do you want dos or tres pancakes this morning?”
“We need tres cups of flour to make these cookies.”
“I need ocho nails. Can you get them for me?”
See? It’s very easy.
You’ll find that as you and your family learn more words and phrases in the foreign language, you’ll be able to add them into your daily talk as well. Your confidence and fluency in the language will grow exponentially.
By the way, if you and your children happen to be studying Spanish, I offer more suggestions for including Spanish language vocabulary into your conversations in my Say Sí to Spanish activity packs (with red covers).
P.S. You can also improve fluency by hanging up posters and labels of foreign language vocabulary in your house. This method works especially well with visual learners.