Lapsele võõrkeele õpetamine: mida peate teadma


At what age to learn a foreign language

When we have seen for some time our child, around 4-5 years old, repeating with great pleasure every word he hears in English, we may wonder: is this the right time to introduce him to another language ? “Although you can learn a language at any age, between 4 and 6 years old, the child immerses himself in it in a natural way, without fear of making mistakes, ”explains Barbara Abdelilah-Bauer, psychosociologist and linguist. If we move to England, for example, our child will naturally learn English at school and speak it. It won’t be a foreign language for him!

How to learn foreign languages

Several initiation methods are possible. For linguistic magic to work, the child must bathe frequently in this other language. The ideal? Call out a regular nanny or babysitter who speaks to him in that language. Indeed, learning takes place through interaction with another person. It is important that initiation also involves play : “No pressure, our child must be able to move and not sit still to learn in front of a sheet”, insists the linguist.

Fun workshops in a foreign language

A fun alternative, language workshops generally given one hour per week. “The child will not become bilingual right away, but that can give him a foundation,” says Barbara Abdelilah-Bauer. We can also, in addition and together, read nursery rhymes, comment on picture books, watch a cartoon in original version (adapted to his age and at slow speed) or play ten minutes a day in the language.

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Why teach him a foreign language

It is a learning and acquisition of language that calls for others! In addition to constituting an asset for his future, this second language will arouse his curiosity by giving him access to other cultures and a greater literary variety. Likewise, mastering another language will allow him to speak on his own, like a grown-up, when traveling abroad with his family or with school later. And this awareness of other sounds and tones may make him want to learn others later! Finally, if he becomes bilingual, that is to say able to speak and understand the other language perfectly, he will then have an easier time learning others!

If we have a good command of a second language – Portuguese, English, Chinese, Arabic … we take the opportunity to familiarize our loulou with his sounds and his vocabulary, by establishing moments when we only exchange in this language, during a meal or a bath, once a week for example!

Foreign language books and apps

  • Hello Pomme d’Api : 6 audio books with stories, songs, games, to learn English while having fun. From 3 to 6 years. 16 € one or subscription 14 € per month, ed. Bayard Youth.
  • Pili Pop Spanish : Puzzles, pronunciation games with an app to introduce them to Spanish… From 6 years old. Free app in basic version.


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