Are You Wanting Your Preschooler To Start Learning A New Language?

Posted on: 10 July 2019

Do you speak a foreign language? Perhaps you are from somewhere like Mexico, and you want your children to love and appreciate the culture in which you were raised. In addition, when you visit your relatives in Mexico, you will want your children to be able to speak Spanish to them. Are you already involved in a plan for your little child to learn a new language? If not, from things you can do at home to enrolling your child in a private bilingual preschool program, here are some ideas that might help you.

Things You Can Do At Home — Does your spouse also speak your language? If so, you've got it made. Simply continue speaking this language to each other and to your little child, and he or she will follow suit. Don't worry about the English part. Your child will learn English easy enough just by living in the United States.

If your language is Spanish, think of finding other Spanish-speaking families that have children the same age, or about the same age, as your child. Arrange playdates for the children. Be on the same page as the other parents: let them know about your plan to make sure your child speaks your native tongue so that Spanish will be used around your child.

Play games like Loteria that feature words and pictures together. Also, find out if your public library has a section of children's books in Spanish. An English-Spanish picture dictionary would be fun and helpful at the same time.

A Bilingual Preschool Program — Think about enrolling your child in a bilingual preschool program. The caregivers will use both English and Spanish throughout the time that the children are in attendance. There might be labels on items in the classroom that will teach both English and Spanish, and that will prepare the children for early reading. For example, a chair in the classroom might have a small sign on it that reads "SILLA - CHAIR."

The children will learn both languages through reading children's books, too. For example, the teacher might read Little Red Riding Hood in English and then right after that, Caperucita Roja will be ready in Spanish.

Classroom etiquette will also be taught in both languages. For example, the children will learn that please and thank you are also ​for favor and gracias. Probably the most important thing the children will learn is that a smile and a hug are part of a universal language.

Contact a school that offers preschool programs near you in order to learn more.