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Help Your Kids Learn Another Language - at Home!

2019-04-03
Thanks to the internet, learning another language has become more flexible and accessible than ever before. You don't need to move to another country or send your kids to expensive immersion schools in order to provide them with the opportunity to learn another language. You can get them started right at home for little to no cost! Which is great news for parents everywhere, who only want their kids to be prepared to tackle today's increasingly globalized world.
 
Here at CareFinder, we've come up with just a few of the ways you can get your kids started learning another language, right from your home!
 
1. Multimedia: Music, Cartoons, Videos
Thanks to Youtube, Netflix, Hulu and many other countless online streaming platforms, parents can access videos, music and cartoons for children in a multitude of languages from almost anywhere. Instead of giving your kids cartoons and videos to watch in their native language during a long wait at the doctor's office or a long car ride, why not use the time to familiarize their ears and cultural understanding in another language? Some shows like "Dora the Explorer" (Spanish) and "Word Party" (English) are even geared towards language learning for children. For advanced children, "The Magic School Bus Rides Again" and "Puffin Rock" are great shows available on Netflix in English, Spanish, French, Mandarin and German.
 

2. Bedtime Reading

2. Bedtime Reading
Whether your kids are learning a second language or not, bedtime reading can be a great habit to establish for your family. Research (http://theconversation.com/research-shows-the-importance-of-parents-reading-with-children-even-after-children-can-read-82756) has found that shared reading is highly beneficial to children as it not only fosters the development of spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary, listening skills, and literacy skills, but it also fosters positive attitudes towards reading and is an opportunity to create social bonds between parents and their children. If you are hoping to familiarize your kids with another language, you can also use this time to read to your kids in that second language. If you don't speak that language, no problem! There are great children's audiobooks on sites like Audible (https://www.audible.co.jp/) or Spotify (https://www.spotify.com/jp/) and even Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/?gl=JP&hl=ja). You can also find our picks of fresh new English picture books here (https://www.carefinder.jp/en/news/make-bedtime-reading-habit-these-new-picture-books).
 

3. Apps

3. Apps
One of the great things about language learning Apps are that they are interactive, mobile and cost little to no money at all! There are many language learning Apps out there; some are especially geared toward children and some are suitable for both children and adults alike:
 
Languages: Over 30 languages
Price: Free (offers in-App purchases)
A popular language learning app and website for both adults and children, Duolingo offers 85 different language courses in 30 languages. The courses are packed with fun and engaging mini-games, opportunities to practice speaking and listening as well as fun, bite-size lessons, which are scientifically proven as an effective way to master a language.
 
Little Chatterbox for Kids (https://littlechatterbox.com/)
Languages: Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese and English
Price: Free (offers in-App purchases)
If you are looking to familiarize your kids with not just once but many languages, this is the app for you. Mandarin, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Japanese and English are all included in one game to help your children acquire 300 key day-to-day words. The app builds on the philosophy that children learn better from other children and features videos of older kids as "virtual teachers." Little Chatterbox conceals rote vocabulary learning activities within four fun games your child will actually want to play.
 
Stories By Gus On The Go (https://www.gusonthego.com/stories/)
Languages: French, Spanish, Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Hindi, Filipino, Danish, Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, Swedish, Portuguese, Norwegian and English
Price: Free (offers in-App purchases)
In this series of Apps (separated by language), Gus, the language loving owl, travels through familiar and timeless stories that incorporate auditory pronunciation and written language in your choice of languages. Start off with animations that teach vocabulary and build your way up to short sentences. Once your children have finished the interactive lesson and completed the story, they can play mini games that make learning fun and exciting.
 

4. Play Familiar Games

4. Play Familiar Games
It's no secret that kids love to play games. One great way to get kids engaged and excited to learn another language is playing some of their favorite games. And this doesn't need to be complicated: if your kids love playing Go Fish with cards, look up the vocabulary words in Spanish and play in Spanish. This way, the kids already know the rules and are familiar with the strategies of the game but get to learn a new set of words in another language! It's a great way to get your kids to positively associate themselves with new languages.
 

5. Bilingual Babysitters

5. Bilingual Babysitters
As many parents with experience raising children bilingually (https://www.carefinder.jp/en/news/raising-bilingual-kids) note, creating more opportunities for your kids to speak the language is key to language learning. An easy and flexible way of accomplishing this is to hire a bilingual babysitter who can speak your preferred languages to your kids on a regular basis. This way, you can create opportunities for your children to learn another language in ways that are compatible with your family's life, right from home!
 
CareFinder is committed to helping you foster a stress-free environment in which you can increase the opportunities for your kids to interact with people in another language. Naturally learning and practicing another language with a babysitter is a convenient and stress-free opportunity for your children to not only learn another language, but also gain greater motivation to do so. With babysitters from over 60 countries, CareFinder babysitters are from all over the world and speak multiple languages. Hiring a bilingual babysitter can not only provide your child with more opportunities to practice another language in a fun way but can also provide them with a great role model and motivation to speak many languages!
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