It is widely regarded today that the best thing a responsible parent can do for their child is to teach them a second language, like Spanish. What most parents don't realize, though, is that the best time to teach their child Spanish is in preschool!
The benefits of teaching your child a second language are numerous. Not only will they be able to learn the language more quickly and easily than at any other time in their life, but knowing a second language has shown to:
Improve standardized test scores
Improve memory and information retention
As well as simply provide the benefits of knowing another language. Spanish, for instance, is the third most common language in the world. As the world's economy becomes more and more globalized, knowing Spanish becomes a bigger and bigger benefit.
Most parents get confused, though, about when to start teaching their child Spanish, and how.
Start Teaching Your Child Spanish in Preschool!
The human brain is wired for solving and learning patterns from about ages 0 to 12, but excels at this from ages 0 to 5. Let me give you proof of this.
Your child learned his or her first language with absolutely no training, and clearly no obvious knowledge of language. In fact, your child could be considered conversational in his or her first language by age 2!
The child's brain, because it was immersed in the language all day and all day, picked up on the patterns in the language and forced itself to adapt and learn.
What this means is: the best time to start teaching your child a second language, like Spanish, is as early as possible - preferably at preschool age!
How To Teach Your Child Spanish
Do not teach your child Spanish through formal lessons and classes. This will only suck the fun out of the language and make them resent language learning.
The best way for your preschool-aged child to learn Spanish is exactly how he or she learned their first language: immersion!
Make sure your nanny or baby sitter speaks Spanish. Many children learn Spanish just from having a baby sitter speak only that language to them.
Enroll your child in a bilingual preschool. This means put them in a school that speaks a mixture of Spanish and English. This has resulted in more bilingual kids than anything else.
Most importantly, speak Spanish at home! Don't know Spanish yourself? Take this opportunity to learn Spanish along with your child. It only takes a week or two to learn enough basic Spanish to get started, and from there, progress as your child progresses.
The Bottom Line
Preschool is the best time for a child to start learning Spanish. Teach them Spanish the same way they learned their first language - by surrounding them in it! This is how their brains are wired to learn it, easily and naturally.
And most importantly, learn the language along with your child, since this will aid immensely in their learning. Good luck!
The top-performing students in American schools today are bilingual. Find out for FREE how to get your child on the same path to success learning Spanish.