Five ways to encourage your child’s second language over summer break.
School is coming to an end and the joys of summer are just around the corner. If your child is part of a language emersion program or attends a bilingual school it is important to encourage your child’s second language over summer break – regardless of whether the language is spoken at home or not. Here are a few ways you can ensure your child uses all their newfound knowledge from the school year.
Join a bilingual camp
A great way to get your child involved with their second language is by signing them up for bilingual day camps. These camps are often available in your area and are a fun and exciting way to encourage language learning. These camps often offer day trips, activities and sports for children to participate in and the best part is they won’t even know how much they’re learning about their second language!
Throughout the summer encourage your child to read books, listen to music and watch television shows or movies in their second language. Another way to encourage your child’s language skills is through writing. Ask them to write a letter in their second language to a friend or grandparent. These are activities they may be doing in their native tongue regardless, so why not foster their language skills by encouraging these activities in another language?
Another fun way to improve your child’s language skills is through games. Look online and in local stores for board games or computer games in your child’s secondary language. Games are a great way to challenge your child and keep them learning about their secondary language.
Play dates with other families
Chances are your child made some great friends over the course of the school year whose families are native speakers of your child’s second language. Schedule play-dates with these families and friends and encourage your child to speak in their second language when with their friends. By doing this they will continue to socialize in the language and learn a variety of skills – like problem solving – they may not learn just by playing games or listening to music.
Ask their teacher
Before you and your child break away from school for the summer, ask their teacher about some ways your child can improve their language abilities. By asking they may also be able to suggest activities or games you can play with your child.