Questions from our readers :)

Teaching a language to your kids is an incredible adventure which you and your child can experience.

1.Is it difficult?
2.I understand a lot but I’m afraid that I’ll teach my child wrong pronunciation how to overcome it?
3.What are the advantages?
4.What are the disadvantages?

1.It is difficult only if we make believe that it is. ‘The first step is always the hardest…’ – as the famous Polish singers Anna Jantar sings in her song. You can’t? But is it really a problem? Better for you if you say it straight that YOU don’t want to learn it than beat about the bush and give yourselves and others poor excuses. You must remember that everything starts when you feel it is possible. Motivation is everything, here the motivation are kids – that was in my case. Learning with mum or dad is far more motivating for your kid than learning with a stranger. Start with teaching colours: blue, green, yellow etc. Saying for example ‘Where is a green block?’ and after a while repeat it in Polish ‘Gdzie jest zielony klocek?’. Remember about the words PROSZĘ – ‘Here you are’ /hirjuła/ when you pass something to your child and DZIĘKUJĘ – ‘thank you’ /fenkju/. Get your child used to this language and every time you give them something ask them to say ‘THANK YOU’. If your child doesn’t want to say it at first, be patient, it will change with time. Remember that you need to use these words, as well, the other way it doesn’t make sense.

2.Those who want to learn English with their kids, I really recommend teaching whole sentences, which you use in your everyday life, without teaching grammar, and you should read the sentences out loud (not in your memory). If it comes to pronunciation, these days there are a lot of dictionaries on line where you can hear the pronunciation of looked up words and you can write it down for later or just learn from it. Bad pronunciation happens and you have to practise as long as you master it. English pronunciation can be different starting from Ed Sheeran and finishing on Cristiano Ronaldo. Language is one of the means of communication and it doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to be useful.

3.The advantages of bilingual children:
– they have a great openness to new acquaintances
– a language barrier is not a great deal
– they have better relations with others because they understand the others’ point of view quicker and communicate better
– they are more creative and have more ideas how to solve a problem
– they are very perceptive, they concentrate better and they are multitasking
– they switch from one language to the other easily
– they have better metalanguage awareness, which means they do well with tasks that involve loaded language: ‘read between the lines’
– they broaden their minds – one object and two definitions
– they learn other languages easier
– they have respect for people from different countries
– continuous training for their brain
– possibility to find better employment in the future

4.Disadvantages – if we can really call it a disadvantage, then bringing up such children requires more effort and perseverance from their parents. You don’t have to motive your child, you need to motivate yourself. If you want to achieve this goal it is not enough to send your child to language school for one hour a week, you need to spend more time during everyday routines, on holidays or playground. You can find the effects of this work on my profile ‘Profesor Franco’.

 

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