What tools have you used for learning languages with kids? Audio? Apps? Computer Programs? Lessons?
Adina mama to B 4/06 and E 8/13/12 (on her due date!)
Do you mean developing early oral language skills in an infant? Or learning a non-native language?
If it's the former, I think simple language exposure is most helpful. The earlier, the better. It may seem odd to have a one-way conversation with a newborn who doesn't reply verbally. However, I always found that they related to the sound of my voice, and the tone and inflections. Playing with language is important too, such as repeating the baby's babbling back to him, rhyming games, making up little ditties and songs and so on. I don't think that apps or computer programs are as effective as simple face-to-face communication.
If it's learning a non-native language, then I think immersion learning is a well-established route. My dc attended language lessons for half-days on Saturdays for years. Their pace of progress was definitely slower than if they were learning in an immersion situation. Also, although they learned quite a bit, I'm not sure how much they retain now. I think they would pick it up fairly quickly if they lived for awhile in that language.
As far as computer-assisted learning, DH used Rosetta Stone for awhile and he liked it.
Ollyoxenfree, you are so right! Nothing is better for language development in children, than communication. We should talk to our children as much as possible.
I am a primary teacher and I am often asked by parents which computer programs I recommend for them to use at home with their children. I always encourage parents to forget digital games and instead engage in real world communication, games and reading books.
Speaking to and reading to children, develops their ability to hear and recognised the specific sound patterns in language and helps them to develop their own verbal skills, vocabulary and an understanding of language. If you would like inspiration for games and activities that you can do with your children in the real world, to develop their early literacy skills, have a look at www.littlelearningplanet.com . You will find whole programs of real world activities to do with your child that have been developed by a teacher.
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