Teaching children English is fun and makes sense from an early age. But there is no specific age at which to start learning foreign languages. Today we want to teach English to children in a playful way or, more generally, to teach children languages.
Teaching children English from an early age
If you expect us to tell you at what age your child should start learning English, then we will unfortunately have to disappoint you. Because we don’t have an exact answer! There is no specific age to start learning foreign languages.
Children of parents of different nationalities, for example, one parent from England and the other from Germany, understand both languages from birth – or even before that, as long as they are still in their mother’s womb. The result: these children grow up bilingual; In this case, one speaks of early bilingualism. You can create this bilingual environment for yourself even if both parents have the same mother tongue: it is sufficient to speak English and German with your child from the start. Or only after 3, 6, 10 years … that is not so important.
In any case, regardless of age, you will make a very nice gift for your child if you teach him English in a playful way. This not only gives your child the chance to speak a second language with ease, but they can also benefit from the following advantages:
Your child will be less reluctant to use a foreign language at school.
It will be easier for them to learn other languages as they will have a better feeling for foreign language sounds and greater cognitive flexibility.
It will develop a certain sensitivity to cultural diversity, which is very important these days.
Teaching children English through play: which tools to use?
As with adults, the key to success with children is regular learning. Only persistent learning is crowned with success. In the following, we show you some tricks and techniques on how you can teach children English in a playful way … regularly or daily.
1. Speak English with the child and create favorable conditions for English
As a parent, you are a point of reference for your children. The child reproduces everything you do: this is how he develops and moves himself. To get them in touch with the English language right from the start, you can simply start speaking English with your child. You can tell him vocabulary and what it means, explain everyday things to him in English, such as how to brush your teeth, tie your shoes, or the composition of the food on your plate. This is how you get the children’s ears used to new sounds and words. You can also create an “English corner” in your house in the same way: a place with English toys, posters, books, etc.If you integrate English into your child’s everyday life, you will enable them to familiarize themselves with the language very slowly and playfully.
2. Teach children English with songs and singing
Another fun way to teach children English in a fun and easy way: listening to counting rhymes and other children’s songs in English. Maybe not the best solution for you personally if you have children’s rhymes in English on your mind all the time! But this method is very effective and, above all, fun for your child. Songs are a great way to teach him new English words and pronunciation.
You will also find various YouTube channels and individual videos for children, some with content in English such as WattsEnglish or TuTiTu Learn English.
In general, the material consists of many playful rhymes and songs and animations in order to combine the pleasant with the useful.
But there are also other categories of YouTube channels such as BusyBeavers – available in English and other languages - or Kids TV: these channels only offer English content, without subtitles and translation, which is enough to create an English-speaking environment for your child.
The range of topics is huge: videos for learning the alphabet, videos about animals, the importance of brushing teeth, etc. But there are also educational songs and rhymes for learning English.
3. Watch cartoons in English
After listening, reading, and singing, you can also suggest your child watch cartoons in English or bilingual series. This is how children in Holland are introduced to English: there is very little dubbed content on television in this small country, so most of it is broadcast in the original language. The learning principle is the same as when we advise you to watch films in English, first with and then without subtitles, mainly in order to improve your listening comprehension and expand your vocabulary.