If you were to ask the average American high school student if he or she needs to learn a foreign language they would probably respond with “No, everybody speaks English these days.” Really?
Why Homeschool Students Should Study Foreign Languages
Exposure to Other Cultures
Getting kids to understand the importance of foreign language study can be difficult. American culture can be a proud one where we think the world should follow us instead of us reaching out to the world. One way to change that perspective around is with exposure. American young people need to see the world. The best experience I had as a teenager was going on a mission trip to Bolivia. My eyes were opened as I saw how other people thrived with less while living out true gratitude. I was forced to communicate despite a language barrier and quickly became aware of how little Spanish I actually knew even after a few years of study.
More Competitive among their Peers
Go ahead and conduct an online search to see if learning a second language is important or not. I especially like what Leonardo De Valoes from Trinity Washington University has to say about how teaching your kids a new language early will make them more competitive among their peers in the future. Check out his article at: https://www.trinitydc.edu/continuing-education/2014/02/26/importance-of-language-why-learning-a-second-language-is-important/.
Whether you take an international trip or just go to your city’s public market, you can enjoy different languages. Enhance your homeschool experience by enjoying the amazing world we live in via language.
Ideas for Teaching Foreign Language to your Homeschool Student
When you are homeschooling, most of the subjects are probably familiar but foreign language study can be intimidating. You might think you can’t do it because have a hard enough time with English, let alone a foreign language. However, there are options available even if you are not a fluent speaker.
Global Student Network (GSN) has a number of great opportunities for foreign language training. Apex, Odysseyware, Ignitia, Edmentum, and Accelerate offer French and Spanish. Looking for other world languages? GSN partners with Rosetta Stone to offer 24 world languages – practically any language you might want to learn at your fingertips!
A key element to foreign language study is hearing the language. We all learn as infants by hearing first. When I lived in Mexico I met a young lady who spoke English remarkably well. She had an almost flawless American accent which was unusual. So, I asked her how she learned English. Her answer was a surprise: watching movies. Wow! How cool is that? An easy and entertaining approach to getting started with learning a new language can be to get your kids to turn on the language options for a favorite movie. Listening to how another language sounds is essential to speaking it properly. There are CD’s to check out at the public library which can help to understand how to pronounce words. Playing different CD’s to see if your kids can guess which language is which might be a fun game. If your child is word smart (see Kathy Koch’s book 8 Great Smarts at www.amazon.com) then just whetting the appetite by using a few fun games or movies might be a fabulous start to a love of new languages.
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.