When the streets to the mall, we accidentally noticed a toddler who with cas-cis-cusnya chat with his mother in English. But not only that. It turns out that the child is also able to speak Indonesian well. Not long after, came the father who turned out to be a foreign citizen. Perhaps in our hearts it says, “It’s worth the English-speaking boy!”
Eits, although we are not married to someone who is a foreign national, does not mean we can not teach a foreign language to the child. Children, especially at the age of 2-3 years, are not only able to capture the sentence patterns he has heard from birth, but he is also ‘improving’ his vocabulary.
Therefore, teaching foreign language to children at the age of toddlers is not complicated, of course if we really seriously apply teaching techniques that will support the ability of foreign languages.
There is a presumption that children should not be directly taught two languages at once. It is feared that it will confuse the child so that it inhibits the development of his “mother” language (the original language), namely Bahasa Indonesia. The concern is indeed justified because after all as Indonesian people should be well-educated and able to speak Indonesian well and correctly.
However, do not be too “afraid” the child will be confused because since the early has been introduced two languages at once. Because according to Dr. Yvonne Freeman, a professor of Bilingual Education from America, teaches foreign language early to the child is important, considering the age of toddlers is a golden period of the brain where children can absorb and remember many things and abilities including language skills. What needs to be observed is the correct teaching techniques, gradually and not forcing the child.
Well, here are some tips that we can apply if we want to teach a foreign language to children:
Choose a Language We Master
How can we teach a foreign language if we do not really master it? Therefore, choose a foreign language that we really quasi to be taught to the child. At least we know how to pronounce words in that language. Better yet, if we are able to communicate actively using the language.
Communicating with Children Using a Foreign Language
The best and fastest way to be able to instill a foreign language to children is to communicate directly using the foreign language. For example, we can give instructions in the language, for example when asking the child to sit down. Instead of saying, “Sit,” we can say “Sit down” or a word in another foreign language. In addition, we can read stories in the language to the child before bed, so the child more accustomed to listen to foreign language words and also learn the structure of the language sentence is indirect.
Although allowed to directly communicate using a foreign language with children, for the initial stage of course the nature is limited to introduction first. Perform communication in the foreign language to the child gradually, slowly from the easiest level first. For example start communicating by introducing one word at a foreign language. Do not immediately force the child to understand the long sentence you speak in the foreign language.
When teaching verbs in a foreign language, we can use gestures or gestures. For example, when asking the child to sleep, we can say, “Let’s sleep.” Make gestures when we say the word ‘sleep’, for example by clasping both hands, then putting it on the cheek while tilting to and closing the eyes. Invite the child to follow our body motion so that he can more clearly capture our intentions.
Foreign Language Television Program
Occasionally, play your child’s favorite program or child’s favorite movie in a foreign language. Over time the child must be used to listen to sentences that are thrown in the program or film. As the child listens to a new vocabulary, study the word and use it when we talk to the child. Thus the child does not just forget the vocabulary he just learned.
Tips to teach foreign languages to children
For this, of course parents need to accompany the child while the child is watching a television show. While accompanying children watching TV, you can introduce and repeat the words spoken on television. For example for English, when you see cat animals and on TV mentioned “paint” you can immediately reaffirm to the child that the cat in English called “paint”. This method is effectively used to start teaching a foreign language to a child because the child becomes more remembered and understands what he is watching.
Games in Foreign Language
Try to buy educational toys with the foreign language, such as numbers cards, letters, animals, food, and so forth. If those cards are not available in the city where we live, we can make them ourselves with the help of computers and the Internet. Invite the child to play using the cards. By itself the child will know the meaning of the pictures he sees. In addition to the card, we can also use foreign language songs. Recommend the children’s songs are usually sung. We can sing it before sleep or while feeding the child. Or we can also play cassettes / CDs containing the songs.
Teach One Words In Once
When teaching a foreign language to a toddler, do not immediately give him a list of vocabularies that he has to learn. Teach one word at a time until he really understands and can say the word well (of course with the accent of toddlers).
We do not need to teach how to spell the word, let alone ask it to write it down. What the toddler needs is a word recognition. Try to show a picture, such as a rabbit image, and say it in a foreign language. Ask the child to repeat it. Show again the same picture the next day and see if the child still remembers how the object is mentioned in a foreign language.
Foreign Language Course
Currently offered many foreign language courses, especially English, for children aged under five, playgroup or kindergarten. While we have funds, we can include the child to the course. Not only has a new playmate, the children also learn to interact with others using a foreign language. The teacher can help add new vocabulary