Do you want to start your kids on a second language, but the language learning myths are holding you back?
Adding a foreign language to your homeschool studies can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know another language. However, learning a foreign language during homeschooling is easier than you think . . . especially if you can get past those common language learning myths holding you back!
5 Common Language Learning Myths That Are Holding You Back from Adding Foreign Language to Homeschooling
Common Language Learning Myths #1: You Need THE Perfect Foreign Language Curriculum.
Are you still hunting for perfection?
Do you think there is one perfect, perfectly-self-sufficient foreign language curriculum out there?
Do you believe that if you can just find that perfect foreign language curriculum, all of your foreign language problems will be solved?
STOP obsessing about foreign language curriculum.
A curriculum that fits you and your student well can be a great place to start. However, you don’t need a foreign language curriculum to get started.
Choosing the right curriculum for your needs can make your life easier, but your child won’t become fluent just because you found and bought a curriculum that you like.
READ THIS NEXT:
Common Language Learning Myths #2: You Need An Online Foreign Language Game or Program To Be Successful
Where did you get the idea that foreign language game teaching methods are best?
Are you placing your faith in technology, like free online foreign language lessons or games, as the best way to become fluent in a foreign language?
STOP relying on gamified teaching methods.
START creating a bilingual environment in your home.
I’ll admit, fun foreign language apps and computer curricula can be enjoyable tools. They’re fun in small doses.
However, they’re extremely unlikely to result in fluency.
They’re not developmentally appropriate for very young children.
If you provide your kids with a bilingual environment in your home, they’ll soon choose to watch Peppa Pig in Spanish rather than play those games again.
And, they’ll develop an ear for Spanish (or whatever language) by watching those fun cartoons.
TRY THIS INSTEAD:
Look for children’s books that are translated into two languages (for example, English on one side and Spanish on the other). Also, check out YouTube videos and cartoons that are in different language and put the English subtitles on while watching.
Common Language Learning Myths #3: You Need Those Traditional, Tedious Memorization Methods To Be Successful
Do you think that tedious foreign language teaching methods are best?
Do you tell your kids if it’s boring and people did it 75 years ago, then it must be working?
Do you concentrate the bulk of your time memorizing lists of vocabulary or verb conjugations because you think that’s the best way to become fluent in a foreign language?
STOP relying too much on tedious methods.
START focusing on developing an ear for the language and making it part of your daily interaction.
Not everything is fun and games, so you’ll probably encounter a bit of tedium or difficulty. Advanced language learners can even learn 15 new vocabulary words per day. And, teaching grammar explicitly can help clarify and hasten natural foreign language acquisition.
But, if you’re spending all your efforts on this kind of tedium, you’re not developing an ear for the language.
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Common Language Learning Myths #4: You Need to Finish A Curriculum In Order to Be Fluent
Is your goal merely to slog through every page of the curriculum, no matter what, because you think your kids will be fluent at the end of it?
STOP letting curriculum boss you around and control your lessons.
START teaching for mastery and retention.
It’s a great feeling when you finish your curriculum, but finishing something doesn’t mean the skill was learned.
Common Language Learning Myths #5: You Need to Spend A Lot Of Money For Foreign Language Lessons To Be Successful
STOP feeling like you need to mortgage your house to afford foreign language lessons.
START learning how to design lessons from free resources.
Well designed lessons taught by a native speaker are fantastic–some are expensive (and rightly so if they are compensating a highly skilled teacher).
However, just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s good, and it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for your child.
Free can be extremely effective – even more effective than expensive lessons. After all, much of the world’s bilingual population acquires a second language without expensive lessons!
DO THIS NEXT:
If you’re feeling unsure about what to do next, try taking a look through the foreign language resource lists.
You can also use the free worksheets to help plan a few ideas to try.
Lisa Yankey is a regular contributing writer for HomeschoolSuperFreak.com and the author of “The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language.” You can find her at www.highenergyhomeschool.com, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and on YouTube.