So you’d like to introduce French to your little tot? Bonne idée!
There are so many benefits to introducing another language ASAP.
Here are 5 proven benefits:
- Improved cognitive development: Learning a second language at a young age has been shown to improve problem-solving, memory, and multitasking skills.
- Enhanced learning abilities: Bilingual children have been found to have an advantage in learning additional languages and in acquiring new information in general.
- Improved job prospects: I know this is early to be thinking about this, but in today's globalized economy, being bilingual can be a valuable asset in the job market.
- Increase in creativity: Studies have shown that being bilingual can lead to increased creativity, abstract thinking and even better decision making skills.
- Better attention and focus: Having knowledge of a second language can also sharpen attention and focus, which can benefit children in the classroom and beyond.
But what if you, as the parent, don't speak French yourself?
Not to worry!
There are still ways to introduce your child to the language, even if you're not bilingual yourself.
Here are 5 tips to help introduce French to your little one:
- Immersion: One of the most effective ways to teach a child a new language is through immersion. This means creating an environment in which the child is consistently exposed to the language. Consider watching French-language movies or TV shows, listening to French music, or reading French books with your child. If you’re looking for a list of tv shows or apps, I have many recommendations on my French learning blog.
- Playtime: Children learn best through play, so make use of that to your advantage! Use French-language toys or games to make the learning process more fun and engaging. Visit @123petitspas on Instagram save some free French cheat sheets to use at various occasions.
- Bilingual Playgroups: Finding a supportive community is the key to success.
I am excited to be running a bilingual playgroup for Rooted Family Wellness Centre. Here we can support one another in raising bilingual children. We will chat about our home language situations, practice our French together, and learn some fun French tunes.
- Hire a French-Speaking babysitter or Mother’s helper: Having a caregiver that speaks only French can be a great way to expose your child to the language. Your babysitter can have conversations with your child in French, read French books and play French games.
- Online resources: You can also choose to learn French with your little one from home with the 123 Petits Pas community!
At first, it can seem overwhelming when you think about introducing a second language to your child, but the more support you find for yourself, the easier it will get. It does take time and effort, but a second language is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children.
If you ever have any questions, “Madame Amy”, our French educator at Rooted Wellness, and owner of 123 Petits Pas Inc. is here to help! Don’t hesitate to reach out for support.