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Teaching Kids Foreign Languages at HomePragmaticMom : PragmaticMom

All posts in Teaching Kids Foreign Languages at Home

foreign language sites for kids

Sites to Teach Kids Foreign Languages

I use these sites to reinforce Foreign Language curriculum that we either do at home using a tutor or to help my child in middle school who is studying a foreign language. Hope these foreign language for kids online sites help!

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Teaching Kids Chinese on Pinterest.

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Teach Kids Mandarin Chinese in a Fun Way

Teach Kids Chinese Through Songs

When my kids were younger, I found that Spanish Sesame Street, Plaza Sesamo, entertained my kids while also teaching them Spanish. Songs were also an effective and pleasant way to expose my kids to foreign languages. As my kids got older — 2nd or 3rd grade — they rebelled and no longer would allow Plaza Sesamo DVDs in the car. They preferred silence. Ditto to foreign language CDs.

My point is that there is a window when kids are open to learning foreign languages. Both their brains and attitudes are receptive. As they grow older, not only do they not want to learn, but also making the sounds are more challenging.

I was excited to discover that Sesame Street is now in Chinese with a series geared for teaching kids Mandarin. For a CD of fun songs to accompany your Chinese language experience, try A Little Mandarin by NYC mom Toni Wang.

I’m not saying that this combination will have your kids conversing in Mandarin, but you are laying a foundation both for training their ear and for exposing them to the concept of non-word for word translation. Who knows? This might be the introduction that makes them actually want to learn Chinese when they are older. I’m still shocked that both of my girls are choosing to learn Mandarin as their mandatory foreign language in middle school!

How about you? Are your kids getting exposure to foreign languages? How do you manage this? Please share your tips!!! Read more…

Blue Bridge Project,Elizabeth Leonard

Why Volunteering Abroad as a Teen is Crucial

International Student Volunteer Opportunities

Please welcome my guest author, Elizabeth Leonard, founder of Blue Bridge Project. Her organization helps high school students get placed in international hands-on service projects to help them with future endeavors like getting into the college of their dreams.  Read more…

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Chinese Words Are Easy to Learn. Really!

Chinese Writing and Language Is Fun and Easy

I found this great site, MemRise,  that has language instruction for Mandarin Chinese, French, Spanish and Italian. I checked out the online Mandarin Chinese site because my kids are learning it and I had just enough Chinese lessons as a kid to know how difficult it is. Read more…

sign language

Sign Language for Kids

Teaching Kids Sign Language

PickyKidPix has been learning sign language in class because there is a child who is hard of hearing. He’s been her classmate for three years now and it’s amazing to me how much sign language she’s picked up from just first grade, 2nd and 3rd grade. I asked her if she uses it and she says that she will sign with that boy even though his also has Cochlear implants. Sometimes signing is just less disruptive. Read more…

Introducing Foreign Languages to Your Kids (Spanish and Chinese)

Easy and Fun Ways to Teach Kids Spanish and Chinese

I  find that learning a foreign language is very similar to dieting.  Changing my family’s lifestyle was key to successfully incorporating foreign language into my children’s hearts and minds.  Like dieting, crash diets (a.k.a. immersion) is wonderful in jump-starting foreign language acquisition however, without proper maintenance, it’s back to square one.  Again like dieting, there are times when I notice that great strides are being made, but there are also discouraging plateaus in which it seems like my children seem to be forgetting large chucks of what they used to know.  Fear not, just like the tortoise and the hare, perseverance will eventually win the race.
Read more…

Use Songs to Teach Kids Spanish

Spanish Songs to Teach Kids Spanish

A reader had asked for Spanish CD suggestions for children.  I happened to be at Lakeshore Learning, a teachers’ supply store, where I bought a really good one a long time ago and it was still there! Read more…

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How Kids Acquire Foreign Language Skills

How to Learn Languages: Children’s Brain Development

My brother-in-law sent me this article about helping your child’s brain develop from NPR. These are some interesting factoids from the article:

  • Babies can differentiate syllables and new sounds from very early on, but there are ways for parents to help their children develop their language skills faster and more efficiently.
  • Language is acquired quite well before the age of 6, but trying to force your children to read before the age of 4 is an effort that doesn’t work very well because the brain is not very well-equipped to tell the letter ‘b’ from the letter ‘d’ and so on… Read more…
Chinese, Chinese Words, writing Chinese words, learning Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Chinese culture and language for kids

Learn Chinese Words and Culture Through Books for Kids

Learn Chinese Words Through Books for Kids

I was really blown away by this advanced picture book by Caldecott winning illustrator and author Ed Young. I had no idea he was Chinese but even more than that, I didn’t expect a picture book to cover a vast story about his own life surviving the Chinese war with Japan. Read more…