In today’s diverse and fast-paced world, many parents want their children to learn a second (or even third!) language.
Although there are numerous benefits to learning a second language at an early age, there are also many misconceptions and myths about the truth of language learning for kids.
“The ability to learn languages is integrated into the human brain. At an early age, language acquisition is unconscious, implicit, and integrated with fun and interest capture.
Whoever learns by playing at an early age develops the ability to link their emotions, their actions and responses in a comprehensive and accelerated way, which translates into a learning path for the future.”
– Fernando Valenzuela Migoya, Lingokids Board of Educators
Learning a second language is too confusing for young children.
This myth comes from old research. New studies show that what was mistaken as confusion before, is most likely “code-mixing,” where children use learned vocabulary words from two or more languages while speaking. For example, they use Spanish vocabulary words when communicating in English.
Although it may be unnerving at first, code-switching is actually a good sign that a child may be on their way to becoming bilingual!
Mixing vocabulary words is a normal and natural part of being fluent in more than one language.
Learning a second language will delay a child’s native language.
Learning two languages does not cause language delay.
In fact, children learning two languages are able to do so at the same rate as children who are learning one.
Children cannot learn a second language if their parents aren’t fluent in that language.
Parents do not need to be fluent in a second language for their child to be able to learn it.
While it is helpful for children to practice speaking a second language with someone, there are many ways for them to get exposure and practice. YouTube videos, songs, cartoons, and podcasts are all great ways for children (and their parents!) to learn a second language.
You can’t learn multiple languages at once.
It is possible to learn multiple languages at the same time.
In fact, this is especially true for children who have parents that speak two different languages and live in a region where a third language is spoken.
Children are sponges, they are listening and soaking up vocabulary words all the time!
The harder a child studies a second language, the quicker they will learn.
When it comes to language learning, memorization and drilling grammar are not the best ways—especially for children.
Language acquisition is a slow and gradual process, and especially for children, it’s helpful to learn through play and exploration!
Benefits of learning a second language at an early age
- Enhances problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening skills
- Improves memory and concentration
- Encourages creativity, mental flexibility, and openness to cultural differences
- Increases emotional intelligence and empathy
- Helps establish social connections
- Opens doors for future career opportunities
Top kids bilingual learning resources
- Play-based learning is one of the best ways for children to learn a second language.
- Playing on a learning app helps children gradually acquire vocabulary and practice language in a safe learning environment.
Cartoons, songs, and podcasts for kids
- Cartoons help immerse children in other worlds and introduce them to common phrases in a second language.
- Check out the Lingokids Lucas & Me puppet series and the Baby Bot cartoons to generate a lot of giggles.
- Listening (and dancing!) to songs in another language is a great way for young kids to learn. Check out our YouTube channel for songs and playlists for kids.
Bilingual books for kids
- Picture books are a fantastic way for language acquisition, as kids can connect the images with the words on the page.
- Nowadays, there are many bilingual children’s books that tell a story with two languages on each page!
Language learning and Lingokids
The Lingokids universe provides original, award-winning, interactive content for kids, transforming the way kids can learn. Lingokids creates games, songs, podcasts, videos, and activities that intertwine educational subjects with modern life skills to spark curiosity, imagination, and success in school—and beyond!
Interested in learning more about how Lingokids helps families raise amazing kids? Download the app and check out more content on our YouTube channels!
Is your child learning a second language?
Let us know your favorite resources by commenting below!