According to many researchers, the best time to introduce your child to the
sounds of different languages is before the age of 2. Some even report that
if a child hears the sounds of a language before age two, when he’s older
and begins to study it, he’ll speak without an accent – like a native from
What’s the best way to accomplish this exposure?
Teaching your child to count to ten in Spanish or basic words like “hola,
buenas noches, si, sombrero” isn’t necessary. Just letting her hear the
sounds of a native speaker is all you need to do.
Listening – The Missing Link
I know a gentleman who has taught himself to speak other languages by
listening to radio stations from different countries. Listening seems to be
the missing link from many public school language curricula. And it’s the
Listening forms the foundation for understanding the cadence of the
language, learning to differentiate between words, and grammar. It’s vital
I took Spanish in high school and college – even had private lessons from a
friend from Costa Rica. But when I visited missionary friends in Ecuador, I
could understand almost nothing they were saying. It was pretty frustrating!
The one activity that helped me most was listening to Spanish news on tv and
radio stations. Suddenly isolated skills I had learned began to make sense.
Hearing the intonations and rhythm of everyday Spanish helped me make more
sense of the language. Patterns were made and ideas “clicked”.
What To Do
• Playing Spanish Christian songs and familiar children’s songs in the
background as your child plays is effective. You can also purchase Spanish
Bible tapes and listen to them while working on a project. Little by little
the brain will sort out the sounds and build patterns to which you can link
According to language experts, the best time for the brain to learn foreign
languages is between ages one and ten. I love Baby Einstein as it has
mothers speaking to their babies in several different languages. What a
perfect way for children to receive initial exposure to the different
intonations of languages! Baby Einstein: Language Nursery
Move to Learn
Music to Learn By
TV and Your Child's Brain
Why You Should Homeschool
A Public School-Teacher's Confession
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