How to learn Spanish for kids?
We’ve all heard that children are like sponges and can pick up language very easily. While children do have an incredible capacity to rapidly assimilate information, it’s important to keep in mind the differences in learning languages that exist between children and adults, and how to best make use of language learning for children. The following are some things to keep in mind as you look into introducing your child to the Spanish language.
Create the Right Environment
Children can absorb information extremely quickly, but it’s important to create a conducive environment for this to happen. Children actually pick up on what the “majority” language being spoken is (in other words, the language they see the majority of the people around them speaking); sometimes, this can cause resistance in learning a “minority” language. You can help avoid this by creating lots of immersive environments for children: arrange play dates in which the majority language is Spanish, play music and watch cartoons in Spanish, and otherwise encourage Spanish to be a major language in daily life.
You can also deal directly with any resistance by creating games; depending on the age of the child and whether you are also speaking the language, you can establish “Spanish-only” times in which anyone who speaks in English or any other language has to put a dollar in a jar, for example. Making it into a playful competition or game can encourage your child to engage in the foreign language.
Use Games and Play
Another point to consider regarding how kids learn Spanish is that, while adults often learn best in a focused, one-on-one setting, children often learn best through games, play, and group activities. This means there can be less focus on seriousness and extremely focused goals. In the beginning of learning a language, exposure and play in the language are more important than trying to meet specific benchmarks. Children naturally pick up underlying grammar structures through listening and experimentation, so there is less need for explicit grammar exercises. Be creative, and make as much use of music, books, and any other materials you can find in exploring the Spanish language with your child.