You Can Help Your Child Become a Lifelong Language LearnerA Duke University Talent Identification Program article points out, "Foreign language programs are often one of the first items to be scrutinized and cut when elementary, middle, and high schools in the U.S. face poor performance evaluations or budget crunches." The article goes on to cite a number of experts on the enormous, proven benefits of language learning and multilingualism to a child's academic success.
Does your child's elementary or middle school offer foreign language instruction? If so, is it sufficiently helping your child attain proficiency and confidence in the new language?
Parents often want to do more, to support their child's academic success. With all the known cognitive benefits of language learning, wouldn't you want your child to learn a new language, whether or not their school includes it in the formal curriculum?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Working parents often depend on after school programs, relatives, or babysitters to supervise elementary age children between the end of the school day and when the parent arrives home. Is it possible that your child's after-care program or caregiver would consider adding language-learning to the usual homework, snacks and playtime? It never hurts to make the suggestion, especially if the request is coming from a group of parents.
- Language Practice with Family Members
- Chances are that someone in your immediate household or extended family, perhaps even one or more parents, speaks a language other than English. Why not take some time at home with your child, and make language-learning a fun family activity that will also help the child appreciate his or her heritage?
- Language Practice with a Private Tutor or at a Language School
- If you happen to live in Lower Manhattan, we invite you to our Tribeca Language center for child-friendly afternoon classes as well as adult evening classes in several languages as well as English (ESL).
- Wherever you live, look for a language school or tutor through your local library, community center, college, university or heritage organization.
- Introduce your child's language teacher to the QTalk visual method, in case they are not already aware that they can use QTalk to deliver amazingly rapid results in a fun, engaging atmosphere.
Your Child Will Enjoy Making Connections Through LanguageBeyond the cognitive benefits for your child, being multilingual will provide lifelong connections to new people and places as well as deeper appreciation of heritage and community diversity. Whether preparing for a family vacation or a future internationally-focused career, your child will enjoy language learning when it's considered to be a natural, ongoing part of daily life, rather than a high-stakes academic challenge.
Many families in the United States include one or more members who speak a language other than English. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Spanish is now the first or second language of 45 million U.S. residents, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Spanish is spoken at home by 37 million Americans. Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Tagalog, Urdu, and dozens of other languages are spoken at home by hundreds of thousands of families.
For parents from a monolingual family background, it's never too late to become multilingual yourself. Staving off the cognitive decline associated with aging depends on building new neural pathways through new experiences.
With QTalk, you will be amazed at how easily you are able to learn a new language, even if you have tried and given up in the past with other programs, or even if you have never studied a foreign language before.
We know there are many self-study DVD's and computer-based language programs offered on the market, and certainly it never hurts to browse what's available in your public library for little or no cost. But we know from our own experiences and that of many other parents and teachers: for most people, self-study materials by themselves can be very difficult and confusing, and end up as "shelfware" while causing the student to believe, "I'm no good at languages." This is nothing short of tragedy. Everyone can learn languages, but it's important to use an effective method to ensure success.
That's why QTalk relies on an interactive, VISUAL method that assumes real, live people want to speak with one another - not only with a computer - because that's how we learn language, through human interaction. QTalk gives you the engaging, age-appropriate simple tools to succeed with your child.
To sum it up: there is no reason you and your child should not enjoy the cognitive, social and emotional benefits of language learning and multilingual proficiency. And yes, you CAN give your child this advantage in life, whether supplementing their school language classes or compensating for foreign language programs that have been cut back or eliminated.
Parents: Share the gift of language with your child.