How to support your child's language learning at home
1. Take an interest, and learn with your child
Learn alongside them: children at Blakehill learn Spanish so why not get them to teach you some key words and phrases? They might like to make a simple poster illustrating key words and phrases, or use sticky notes to label everyday objects in a foreign language. Another good idea is to create a ‘new words’ dictionary for them to record all the new things that they have been learning. You may want to invest in a bilingual dictionary for them to look up further words — there are a great many ‘child-friendly’ versions of these available.
2. Make it interactive
Why not find books, films or songs in the language they’re learning? These can be a wonderful way to learn a language without even realising it. Early-readers or lift-the-flap books are brilliant for learning a new language. The Internet is perfect for bringing some cultural learning into your home, allowing as it does access to videos, radio/audio and images from all around the globe. It has never been easier to expand your child’s horizons. There are also many games accessible on line (many of which are free) to help engage your child at home as well as websites (listed below) that include games, eBooks and links to other foreign language sites too.
- https://www.littleredlanguages.co.uk/ - free language resources and activities
- https://www.duolingo.com/ - a fun and effective website that helps you learn a language from scratch
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zxsvr82 - BBC Bitesize resources
- https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zfckjxs - BBC Bitesize (KS3) This resource is aimed at older children in secondary school; however, some of the resources can be used by children in upper Key Stage 2, particularly Y6.
- https://www.languageangels.com/schools/ - interactive games. They can log into the ‘Pupil Games Area’ by using: USERNAME: blakehill PASSWORD: blakehill2020
3. Take a trip
**Pre-Covid-19** If you are lucky enough, perhaps you might like to plan a family holiday to a country where the language is spoken. This is not always possible for many families, but any way for your child to meet native speakers can be a wonderful experience, such as a Spanish restaurant. Alternatively, there’s always the good old-fashioned pen-friend option!
4. Make it fun
Above all, make any additional language learning you do at home fun, practical and supportive. Learning a new language can be a little daunting at first but with the help of parents and schools, it needn’t be the case. Even playing simple games (such as 'Snap', 'Guess Who', 'Snakes and Ladders') and adding an element of a foreign language (such as counting, colours or even just answering yes and no) could be a wonderful aid.
There are also some worksheets / activities below which you might find useful.