It’s never too early to start sharing two languages with your little one. The younger your child is when they start using a second language, the easier it is to pick up the language. Within the first years of their life, you’ll find that children quickly adapt to speaking two languages, leading them to fluency quicker than they would experience earlier in life. As soon as you start reading with your child, introduce the two languages you’d like them to learn simultaneously.
A popular strategy that many parents adopt when it comes to learning languages is one person, one language. You’ll use one language, while your partner will speak the other language. This can make it easier for your child to spend equal time speaking each language. Of course, you don’t have to use this tactic, but it’s one that works for many bilingual families.
If your child uses English all day long at school, it’s best to use the other language when they are at home. This is another popular strategy to use instead of the one we shared above and will offer your child greater exposure to the second language. It can help to avoid them using English more than another language, which is a common issue we see with school-age children.
A common mistake we see parents make is just relying on television to teach children Korean. While this is a great tool for some parts of their learning, they also need to read and speak in the language. Make sure you find child-friendly learning materials to help them practice their second language, instead of just placing them in front of the television all day long.
For parents who have family nearby, this is a great way to immerse your child further in two languages. If you are trying to teach your children Korean, get other relatives and friends involved too. The more they are pushed to communicate in this language, the more comfortable they’ll feel. They can also learn more about the culture and traditions of Korea at the same time, enriching their interest in their heritage.
Learning a second language offers so many benefits to children of all ages. The earlier you can start raising your child speaking two languages, the easier it will be for them to use this in their everyday life. As a parent, try to use some of the strategies we’ve shared above, but have patience with your child’s learning. You’ll soon find they adapt to speaking Korean and English, offering them a skill that will benefit their career and personal life in the future.