Spanish is the second most spoken language in the nation, ranking fourth in the world. Yet, as of 2017, only 11 states have foreign language requirements for students to obtain a high school diploma.
This statistic is startling considering the fact that 13 percent of the United States population speaks Spanish as their first language. That equates to approximately 43 million people! Thankfully, there are beneficial online spanish classes for kids that will give them a competitive edge against their peers.
Early Language Development Is Paramount
During your child’s formative years, they have the innate ability to soak up excessive amounts of information, much more effectively than that of an adult. The California Department of Education notes that “recent brain research indicates that birth to age three are the most important years in a child’s development”. Why is this?
It is likely that we are more equipped to absorb information when the task is not forced. Babies and toddlers learn almost exclusively by observation and imitation. This implicit learning makes the consistent presentation of new and different skills at an early age exceptionally important in the successful acquisition of knowledge. How do you accomplish this with your child? Start at home and then enroll your child in courses that teach spanish for kids. You can begin as early as one year of age — even if they are late talkers, they are taking in the information.
However, researchers further note that for the parents who have already missed this early window of subconscious learning, as long as their child begins their linguistic education by the age of ten, they will still be able to achieve complete fluency in the language. This is not to say that they can not attain it at a later time in life, but it will be exorbitantly harder than if obtained in earlier years. It is theorized that this is likely due to changes that occur in the brain when an individual hits puberty.
Teaching Toddlers To Speak Spanish
Children are remarkable in their effortless recognition of the different sounds that are used most often in their lives. This is one of the reasons that they can become bilingual so easily. Of course, this means that practice makes perfect. Therefore, make the effort to have conversations with your child regularly.
The key to language retention is repetition as well as engaging the senses while teaching the information. If you just say the word “pelota” and give the child no reference to what the word means, they will not understand or retain the information. Instead, when playing with the ball, use the words in both English and Spanish. Let them see the object and allow them to hold it and play with it. Moreover, ask them to repeat the information back to you.
Music and reading are also fun and easy activities that can build your child’s foreign language skills. Additionally, optimize screen time. Watching Spanish programs tailored for kids allows them to see and hear others using the language as well as to listen to the various dialects of different cultures.
Educational Experiences: Spanish For Kids
Once they have learned the basic vocabulary through observation and imitation, it is time to start teaching the proper ways to formulate sentences and converse in the language. Spanish uses a different sentence structure than English. It also utilizes gender specific words and has alternate conjugations and punctuations. If you are not familiar with the language yourself, this can make it hard to help your child advance in their understanding of the subject.
Thankfully, the experienced instructors at Monster Education provide an interactive learning experience for kids starting as early as Kindergarten age. Additionally, they implement a technique called Total Body Response (TPR) to ensure an effortless attainment of the Spanish language. This method requires students to act out what they are going to say, prior to actually speaking.
The Effectiveness Of TPR
The creator of the Total Body Response method of teaching, Professor Emeritus James Asher from San Jose State University, strived to determine the most effective technique of learning and retention.
According to his research, “the way the brain assimilated language when you were a baby is the way that it assimilates language now. TPR is similar to how an infant learns language because in both there are “language-body conversations” (Asher, 2000, p. 6-2). The parent gives the baby a command such as “Get the ball” and the baby obeys the command of the parent. They understand the parental utterance and respond–through action rather than words.”
By utilizing this method of learning, your child is more likely to remember the information. Additionally, unlike in a regular academic classroom, Monster Education prioritizes the student experience by organizing classes of six kids or less. This allows each child to get the most out of their sessions, have fun, and obtain individual attention when necessary.
Set Your Kids Up For Professional Success
When you consider the fact that communication drives all businesses on some level, why would you not want your child to have this coveted skillset? In fact, according to the research organization New American Economy, “the fastest growth in bilingual listings from 2010 to 2015 was for so-called “high prestige” jobs, a category including financial managers, editors, and industrial engineers”.
Doctors, nurses, teachers, bankers, law enforcement, social workers and journalists are just a few of the careers that require this linguistic knowledge. Thus, if you truly want your kids to have the tools to succeed, then the introduction to other languages is essential, and the earlier the better!
The ability to attain fluency in this frequently spoken language at a young age will also improve their future academic performance in other subjects. In addition, this aptitude has been shown to sharpen a child’s problem solving skills and better equip them in social situations.
Final Thoughts — Spanish Classes For Kids
Fluency in another language is a gift that will open countless doors for your child. It will allow them to see the world in a different way, meet new and interesting people and it can advance their academic and professional future. Best of all, by starting at the preschool and kindergarten levels, you are giving them an advantage over others.
Best of all, online spanish classes for kids are a convenient way to expedite their comprehension of the language and Monster Education offers opportunities for children in Kindergarten to seventh grade! Sign them up today and watch their fluency flourish!