How important is English to children

Learning English with children: this is how parents can raise their child in two languages

Why should children learn English?

Over time, English has become the most important world language, making it possible for us to communicate with as many people as possible. Therefore, the basics of this language are learned in a playful way in kindergarten.

How can I also teach my child English at home?

There are a number of different options here. For example, apps for learning English, English books for children, children's games for learning English or English courses for kindergarten children help.

What should I watch out for in bilingual education?

It is important that you adhere to certain rules when it comes to bilingual education. The best way for children to learn English is from native speakers. If the parents are monolingual, attending a bilingual daycare center is mandatory.

In a global world as we experience it today, the number of children raised bilingually is steadily increasing. If the parents come from two different countries, the question of a bilingual upbringing usually does not even arise. But what about other families? Does it make sense for a child to learn English from the start? What do I have to look out for in a bilingual upbringing?

In our guide, we explain to you what options there are for you to encourage your child as early as possible. We give you information about bilingual kindergartens and show you how quickly children learn another language. You will learn the advantages and disadvantages of a bilingual upbringing and in which cases it is overwhelmed.

Table of Contents

1. Adapt bilingual education to the living situation

Learning English is not a problem for toddlers.

In our society it is becoming increasingly important to be able to speak different languages. Globalization is blurring the borders of the individual countries more and more, so that we have to learn to communicate in different languages. English has become the most important foreign language for us. Although there are only around 360 million native speakers, around 1.5 billion people speak English worldwide.

So over time, English has become the most important world language that it enables us to communicate with as many people as possible. Therefore, the basics of this language are now learned in a playful way in kindergarten.

But how do you teach children English as early as possible? It largely depends on whether you are monolingual or bilingual parents.

1.1. Learn English with bilingual parents

Growing up bilingual has many advantages.

There are many reasons why immigrants often want to come to Germany. Of course, the attractive economic conditions also play a role. So come too many English-speaking people come to the Federal Republic every year.

If the parents have different mother tongues, it is particularly easy for the children to learn both languages ​​from the start. The families often handle it in such a way that most of the time the child speaks English with the father and German with the mother, for example. This is the so-called 1 and 1 rule. This makes it much easier for the child to assign the respective language. Of course, this separation cannot be consistently implemented always and everywhere. However, it is important that both languages ​​are spoken as often as possible.

Also, don't be concerned if your child mixes the two languages ​​more often in everyday life. It is quite normal for a child to use the language that is more present at that moment. For example, if you cannot find the right word in the language you are currently using, it intuitively reverts to the other language.

Children of bilingual parents develop a very strong understanding of language at an early age, from which they can benefit for their entire life!

Since many immigrants also come from Eastern European countries, these languages ​​are the second mother tongue in most families. Is it still possible in these cases to learn English as an additional mother tongue? Yes, because the human brain is not limited to any number of languages. However, your child should be emotionally related to each of these languages. Also make sure that you don't overwhelm your child!

1.2. Learn English with monolingual parents

How much English children learn in a bilingual daycare center differs from one institution to the next.

The task, Bringing up a child bilingual when both parents speak the same mother tongue is of course associated with a number of hurdles. However, this challenge can also be mastered with appropriate measures.

Of course, here too it is understandable that parents want to equip their children with as many basics as possible. Anyone who speaks several languages ​​has an easier time on the job market overall. In a playful way However, learning a little English in kindergarten is not enough to make it a second mother tongue. That takes a lot more.

First of all, it is important that you are your child in one bilingual kindergarten Sign in. Educators whose mother tongue is English should work in the facility. School English, on the other hand, is not enough to teach a child the language perfectly.

Learning foreign languages

The earlier we learn a second language, the better we can do it. According to experts, a multilingual education can only begin in kindergarten.

Of course, it takes some time for the little ones to understand and speak the foreign language. The learning opportunities are very different in the individual daycare centers. While in some kindergartens only individual words are taught in the foreign language, other institutions attach importance to the fact that only English is spoken at times.

However, it must be said that the Children who only attend a bilingual kindergarten do not equate this second language with their mother tongue. You can understand and speak them, but you will probably always use your mother tongue for more complicated matters. Because learning a second mother tongue is associated with an intensive relationship. This reference exists, for example, if a parent speaks this language or an English-speaking au pair is busy with the child around the clock.

What is important is you also playfully learn English at home with your children. You can find out how this works best in the following chapter.

2. Learn English with children's books and other learning materials

English for preschoolers is a good way to prepare.

The fact that everyone should speak English these days is no longer questioned. There is no school that does not have this language as a subject. And learning English starts earlier and earlier. While learning English for children in the 5th grade began a few years ago, it is now quite normal for children to do so the subject already finds its place in elementary schools.

While in normal kindergartens only songs are sung and individual words learned, bilingual kindergartens focus on teaching English as a second mother tongue. For this to happen, you should give your children a helping hand offer various opportunities to intensify the language at home as well.

There are numerous possibilities:

  • An app for learning English
  • English books for children
  • Audio CDs or DVDs
  • Children's games to learn English
  • English courses for kindergarten children

As with adults, music, games, films or language courses help you learn a new language. Because if you have fun learning, you can remember the vocabulary and grammar better. It is much easier for children to learn a foreign language than adults.

When children learn different languages ​​at an early age, they develop a better understanding of the language overall. You understand early on that different languages ​​can sound very different. In addition to English picture books or radio plays, PCs or tablets can also be used. Because learning English is of course even more fun for kids when they can use digital media.

In English courses, children can learn the new language together.

For many children, learning English online has become quite normal. Children can also learn English with special YouTube videos. However, you should never leave them unattended, otherwise they could end up with videos that are anything but suitable for minors. Whether you ultimately use an English-Learn-For-Children-CD, an app or the classic book is of course up to your own preferences.

Another possibility is to attend special English courses. The main advantage is that the lessons take place in small groups. So the children can exchange ideas with each other. In addition, the specialist staff is trained and there are many different learning materials available.

Tip: Of course, these courses are particularly useful if the parents only speak German, for example. The more often your child speaks the second language, the sooner it can become a second mother tongue!

3. Advantages and disadvantages of a bilingual education

A bilingual upbringing can harbor both opportunities and risks.

The fact that children learn different languages ​​earlier and earlier is very controversial in our society. While some parents see the advantages of bilingualism, others have doubts as to whether it makes sense to bring children into contact with another language at this early age.

While proponents often argue that the acquisition of a second language is easy for toddlers to master, opponents complain that the children are overwhelmed and in the end do not speak either language properly. But what is right?

Here you can get one now Overview of the main advantages and disadvantagesassociated with a multilingual upbringing.

  • Good language understanding and awareness
  • Advantages of learning other languages
  • Plus point for some professions (example: international companies)
  • higher self-confidence
  • cultural openness
  • There is a risk that language development will slow down
  • Mixing of languages
  • Overstrain in children with language development problems

According to experts, a bilingual upbringing is associated with many advantages for the child. They develop a better understanding of the language and it is easier for them to learn another language. In a study, linguists also found that bilingual children perceive sounds differently than monolingual children. They are based not only on individual words, but also on the melody and the speed of speech.

It is important, however, that you yourself adhere to the rules mentioned in bilingual education. The best way for children to learn English is from native speakers. If the parents are monolingual, attendance at a bilingual daycare center and possibly an additional language course is compulsory.

4. Materials for learning English in daycare

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Learning English with children: this is how parents can raise their child bilingually
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Photo credits: Yuliya Evstratenko / shutterstock, Robert Kneschke / shutterstock, Sangoiri / shutterstock, Photographee.eu/shutterstock, Syda Productions / shutterstock, Fh Photo / shutterstock, Eskemar / shutterstock (sorted by order in the post)