Language for Little Learners

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"I can’t teach my kids French because I can’t speak it."

November 29, 2007 By: Yvonne Crawford Category: Uncategorized

A lot of people I know refuse to try to teach their children a 2nd language, because they themselves don’t know a 2nd language. Some people believe you have to be fluent or even a native speaker of the language in order to succeed. I whole-heartedly disagree. Learning a 2nd language for an individual really can open up the doors in life. That person can do so many things that others cannot. So even if you don’t know enough French or Spanish to make your child fluent in that language, you can give them a head start and open up their brain to language learning. When children are toddlers they are like sponges soaking up everything around them. Exposing them to another language will only increase their ability to learn other things, especially math. Also, even learning a little bit of a language now will help them to learn it more later. They will be used to the sounds of French or Spanish and can excel in those languages in school. So, teaching your child a 2nd language really does give them a little boost in life. And there is nothing sweeter than to hear your 2 year old say ‘please’ in a foreign language.

7 Comments to “"I can’t teach my kids French because I can’t speak it."”


  1. hey hey! what an awesome site! i have my MA in education w/concentration in TESOL. i definitely want matthew to learn mandarin…as well as learn it myself. i agree with your comment on the importance of a 2nd language.

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  2. hey hey! what an awesome site! i have my MA in education w/concentration in TESOL. i definitely want matthew to learn mandarin…as well as learn it myself. i agree with your comment on the importance of a 2nd language.

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  3. I think it’s also important for parents to reinforce at home what their children learn at school. Our kids receive some Spanish instruction at their public school, and it seems to “stick” much better when we practice some of the words at home.

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  4. I think it’s also important for parents to reinforce at home what their children learn at school. Our kids receive some Spanish instruction at their public school, and it seems to “stick” much better when we practice some of the words at home.

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  5. Ever since I finished school I didn’t think I would want to have anymore lessons ever again, however recently I have wanted to learn a foreign language, maybe become fluent in one and basic in a couple of others. I did a bit of research and found there were loads of different packages available I went with one that claims you teach yourself French and I was impressed it was a computer program that helped with pronunciation and speaks back to you so you can hear it too.

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  6. I am very glad to see that you are encouraging parents to take part in early foreign language learning. I am a preservice teacher and plan on teaching French at the high school level. I am also interested in teaching French at the elementary level, but few schools in Tulsa, OK offer French that early. I fully advocate early foreign language learning, for all the reasons you stated. The early language exposure parents can give to a child can make all the difference in their learning and interest in foreign languages. Children have so much enthousiasm towards learning and are very malleable when it comes to acquiring another language. Parents shouldn’t worry about not being fluent or having limited knowledge of a language – even a little bit of knowledge of a second language opens so many doors, I agree! You would be surprised how much a parent’s help in their child’s schoolwork can add; at one school where I was observing a classroom, a teacher rarely spoke the target language because she believed that she didn’t have enough time to present the information in French and have it understood. Thank you for helping show parents how their input in their children’s learning is so important and valuable.

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  7. I am very glad to see that you are encouraging parents to take part in early foreign language learning. I am a preservice teacher and plan on teaching French at the high school level. I am also interested in teaching French at the elementary level, but few schools in Tulsa, OK offer French that early. I fully advocate early foreign language learning, for all the reasons you stated. The early language exposure parents can give to a child can make all the difference in their learning and interest in foreign languages. Children have so much enthousiasm towards learning and are very malleable when it comes to acquiring another language. Parents shouldn’t worry about not being fluent or having limited knowledge of a language – even a little bit of knowledge of a second language opens so many doors, I agree! You would be surprised how much a parent’s help in their child’s schoolwork can add; at one school where I was observing a classroom, a teacher rarely spoke the target language because she believed that she didn’t have enough time to present the information in French and have it understood. Thank you for helping show parents how their input in their children’s learning is so important and valuable.

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