Learning a New Language with Your Professional Au Pair

September 25, 2017
One of the most exciting and unique benefits of hosting a professional au pair is the opportunity for your children to be exposed to a new language.

While the research behind at what age you should teach your kids another language is vast and varied, one conclusion remains- learning another language is wonderful for your children's neurological development. Not to mention, it's a useful skill in a world where travel is becoming more accessible and commonplace! 

Here are some fun ways that your professional au pair can work with your kids to teach them her native tongue.

Associate new words with their other senses.

While sound is the main sense through which your child will learn a new language, incorporating the other four senses into their study can help them learn faster and retain information easily.  For example, if you're focusing on the German word for apple, apfel, serve them an apple for a snack at the same time. This way they can see, smell, touch and taste their 'apfel', making it easier to memorize this new word. 

Write it out.

If your children are old enough, it's a great exercise to write out new words repeatedly. They'll be able to connect the sound of the word with a visual representation of it, not to mention it will help them practice their letters if the language you're focusing on uses the Latin alphabet.  

Watch cartoons.

Everyone learns in different ways and your children may absorb information best through watching informational content. The perfect way to do this with a new language is to watch cartoons in the foreign tongue during your children's much-anticipated screen time. Cartoons use simple grammar and words, making it a wonderful way to practice comprehension of entire sentences. It's also fun and entertaining so that practicing the new language doesn't feel like a chore!

Weave it into the day.

The more touchpoints your children have to practice a new language, the more likely that they'll succeed. Label household items with the new name. Teach your children phrases that they can commonly use, like 'Can I have... ?' , in the new language and have them say that instead of the English version. Put on songs in the car and swap out their goodnight stories. All of these little changes make a big difference!