Many of us try to bring up our kids bilingual. Private teachers, weekend classes, grammar, homework, all of that is part of your life in some shape or form when trying to encourage children to speak more than one language. But usually homework and drills take the fun out of the process. “Speak Russian,” “French only at home,” “I don’t understand you unless you address me in Korean” – we have all heard or even uttered similar phrases.
So, how do we make learning another language enjoyable? We all know when children like something, they will do it more willingly. So, the trick is to find an activity to make another language fun for the children, to change the mindset from work to play.
For our children such activities became:
- theater plays where kids learn poems and songs, build confidence on stage;
- art classes where vocabulary is increased while tapping into child’s creative side;
- explorers classes, learning about different cultures through games, history and cuisine. Doing simple, but fun homework (we even call it homeFUN) in Russian, so that children can practice simple reading if they want to.
Is it enough to have a strong 2nd language? Probably not, you still need to read to your children and practice the language daily. But it will help tremendously to create a positive, rewarding place which will encourage children to go further in their language exploration.
Won’t it be lovely if our children ask us, “Mom, can I go back to learning how to read in Russian?“ That’s just what happened to one of our students who refused to continue Russian lessons with a private teacher, so his mom found our classes as an alternative. That is one of the best things we heard last year and the reason for how and what we do in our club.
We want children to have fun in Russian, while learning, even if it maybe tough at first. We have seen amazing progress with various kids, it is possible!
So, join the fun and join the club, World Explorers Club!
With love for learning and exploration,
Julia and Anastasia