Setting your child up to speak a foreign language early on in life is a gift that your child will likely appreciate when they reach adulthood, and their dual-language abilities open up new opportunities for them. But the first days of going through this program can feel like a lot for both kids and their parents. If you want to help your child and the overall family adjust to this form of education, here are some tips that might help.
This is Your Life Now
When your child is in a dual language immersion program, they are encouraged to eat, sleep, and speak the foreign language they are learning. Some dual language immersion programs even forbid the students from speaking in English for certain lengths of time in order to maintain complete immersion. When your child returns home from school, they may want to make this part of their home life as well. You can assist by getting your child TV programs or other entertainment options that can be watched in their language of choice. It also can't hurt to brush up on the foreign language yourself so your child will feel like you are on board with them and the program.
Label the House and Use the Right Word When Speaking to Your Child
If you want to increase your own vocabulary and go all-in on helping your child through the program, look up the foreign word for every major appliance or piece of furniture in the house. If you need to ask your child to go do something, try and speak it using the words you just learned. The more you can continue the complete immersion at home, the better off your child will be.
Reassure Your Child They Are on the Right Path
Having to stay in total immersion when going through a foreign language program might be frustrating at times for your child, especially if they have friends who are only learning basic English. You can encourage your child by telling them about famous celebrities or athletes who can speak foreign languages. Point out successful people who have benefited from knowing both English and an additional language and your child might have an easier time staying focused.
With that said, it's OK to speak to the teachers if you feel your child truly needs a break. No one is going to learn anything when they aren't engaged with the material. For more tips and best practices for how to keep your child focused during a dual language immersion program, reach out to a local school like, Tabula Rasa The Language Academy today.