Exposing Kids to a New Language When School Lacks World Language Department

Exposing Kids to a New Language When School Lacks World Language Department

Learning a second language has numerous benefits, such as improving problem-solving skills, boosting creativity, enhancing academic achievement, and providing better career opportunities. Studies indicate that early childhood is the best time to learn a new language, as children are more adept at grasping grammar until the age of 17 or 18. Starting language learning by age 10 increases the likelihood of achieving native speaker proficiency. However, despite the importance of language learning, school language programs have become scarce in recent years. As a result, parents may need to find alternative ways to help their children learn a second language.

The Decline of Language Programs in Schools and Alternatives for Parents

The benefits of learning a second language from a young age are well-documented, but due to teacher shortages and tighter school budgets, fewer schools are investing in language classes for children. Despite being a necessity in many European countries, the United States has no national language requirements, with only 20% of students learning a foreign language in school on average. This has contributed to the decline of school language programs, making it difficult for students to learn a second language. In this article, we will explore alternatives that parents can consider to help their children learn a new language.

Alternatives for Parents When Their Child's School Lacks a World Language Department

Despite the numerous benefits of learning a second language from an early age, budget cuts and teacher shortages have led to a decline in school language programs. This is especially prevalent in the United States, where only 20% of students learn a foreign language in school, compared to 92% of European students.

However, parents can still support their child's language learning by practicing at home, reading stories, singing songs, attending cultural events, and organizing playdates. In addition to these options, parents can also consider:

Language classes

Affordable online and blended language programs are available for children, ranging from online Spanish classes to language immersion camps for teenagers. Parents can choose a language based on their child's interests and compare program options.

Language apps

Language learning apps are a flexible and enjoyable way for children to learn a new language. Most apps gamify the learning experience, making it more engaging for young learners.

Private tutor

Parents can hire a private tutor to provide personalized learning for their child, focusing on areas they need improvement in and helping them stay motivated.

Petition to the school

Parents can organize a petition to prioritize foreign language learning in the curriculum development. This involves outlining practical steps the school can take to support language learning.

Investing in language education is beneficial for children and young people, and there are numerous options available to parents even if their child's school does not have a world language department. Berlitz offers interactive and age-specific learning programs to help kids and teens progress to fluency.