We wanted to ask, at what age was it necessary to start teaching our baby’s a new language!
Some say” start when they are 2 years or 3 years old, then I start to think? is that to late. Now is the time, when they are just baby’s, yes I mean it as soon as you come home from the deliveryroom at the hospital, you think that oh well there just newborns they wont remember nothing, but they are very smart little newborns and love recording everything they hear or see! that is why we need to be on our best behavior as well.
Here are some good tips to help out in this language change for you and dad.
- Start now. Two- and 3-year-olds are not only increasing their vocabularies, they’re starting to recognize the speech patterns they’ve been hearing since birth. The earlier you introduce a second language, the easier it will be for your child to pick up its unique sounds. The ability to hear different phonetic pronunciations is sharpest before age 3, and we lose the capacity to hear and produce certain sounds if we aren’t exposed to them early on, according to François Thibaut, director of the Language Workshop for Children, in New York City. So just hearing a television show, listening to music, or learning a few words in a second language will give your child essential tools for appreciating it now and learning to speak it later.
- Create a casual learning environment. The best way for a child to learn to understand a new language is for him to hear people speaking it fluently, says Thibaut. If he’s exposed to conversations, he’ll begin to pick up the sounds and the natural accent. Choose a language that is spoken in your neighborhood, on a television show your child can watch regularly, or one that is offered in classes or playgroups in your area. “If you have a bilingual babysitter, encourage her to speak her native language to your child exclusively,” says Rhodes. Two- and 3-year-olds love to mimic what they hear, and soon they’ll begin to understand the meanings of short words and phrases.
- Teach a word at a time. If you don’t want to do formal lessons, you can introduce bilingual basics by pointing out to your child that objects can have two names — one in each language. “When my 2-year-old son, Constantinos, sees a spider, he’ll say ‘spider’ to me in English and then say it in Greek to my husband,” says Cassandra Attard, of Nottingham, New Hampshire. “He knows they mean the same thing.” As your child learns new words, tell him what they’re called in a second language too.
- Have reasonable expectations. Of course, a child won’t learn to speak another language fluently from hearing words, watching videos, or singing songs. But simply being exposed to a language will help her understand phrases when she hears them. So even though you probably won’t be having a French conversation with your child very soon, if you say “bonne nuit” every night at bedtime, she’ll figure out what you mean.