Education is one of the those subjects which inspire completely different approaches across the world. Indeed many of the most successful educational establishments often adopt completely different strategies in educating younger children. I was reading an interesting article about preschool language literacy on the Vanderbilt University website. The discussion centers around research that seems to show that preschool children who are exposed, in a structured way, to more sophisticated language will go on to have a larger vocabulary and better reading ability by the time they are grade 4 students. This is of course very interesting news for childhood educators and parents alike.
There are plenty of things that both these groups can do to foster improved language development. Some of them include the obvious such as reading to young children. At kindergarten, group stories using a large picture book, e.g. The Hungry Caterpillar have been popular for years. This is just one example of how we can excite youngsters with language. There are practically limitless possibilities.
For instance, at home parents can introduced their children to their own hobbies. Talking about something you are passionate about will likely rub off on your child and provide an excellent opportunity for learning as well as provide a perfect language learning opportunity. So if health is your passion, perhaps you could involve your child in gardening or food preparation in the kitchen. The important aspect is to make sure you engage with your children in a more sophisticated way, the idea being that they will learn and develop from being treated like this.
Another possibility is to introduce new languages to children as soon as possible, to help with their all round linguistic skills. The idea that you can confuse a child by trying to learn two different languages at once, has mostly been debunked. Indeed there is much evidence to suggest that entirely the opposite is true that children who are more exposed to different languages will develop quicker in all of them.
Of course, it’s not easy for all parents to introduce new languages to children if they are not bilingual themselves. Fortunately there are many resources online which give access to affordable language tuition. However you don’t even need to pay for online courses as there’s lots of free resources too if you know where to look. For example for someone seeking to learn English then you’d be well advised to check out the BBC’s online presence. Outside the UK if you use a British based VPN it’s easily possible to watch BBC News streaming online from anywhere. This is a fantastic way to learn language skills easily and also develop other interests as well.