Monday, July 1, 2013

Incorprate Foreign Language Into Your Curriculum

Children who begin learning a second language at very early ages develop cognitive advantages over children who do not. So says the president of the National Network for Early Language Learning, Therese Sullivan Caccavale. She cited a Canadian study that concluded bilingual children develop a skill called "object permanence;" which they learn things are the same despite said objects having different names in different languages. Further, being multilingual insulates the brain from cognitive deterioration. Multilingual individuals develop Alzhiemer's disease on average four years later than monolinguistic individuals, according to a study by York University's Ellen Bialystok.
Second and even third languages can easily be incorporated into a curriculum. Though it may be tough at first, by the time your child is filling out online applications for jobs, you'll all be thankful you persevered. Here are some ways to do it.

Personal Tutors

Private instructors are probably the first option many educators think of. Depending on the size of city you reside, it's possible to find instructors for just about any language you desire., for instance, has tutors available for hire in most of the lower 48 states. Some will travel to smaller, rural areas for additional fees.

Rosetta Stone vs. Pimsleur

Named after an ancient Egyptian inscribed stele, Rosetta Stone has become a household name for integrated foreign language instruction. A few school districts across the country have even relaced live instructors with the software. Rosetta Stone uses audio, video and interactivity to teach students how to read, write and speak the language you choose. For instance, a picture of an apple will appear on the screen and a voice will say "the apple is red" in the language you are learning. The written words will also appear on the screen. The company website has a section that walks parents through lesson planning and testing. There are also pre-defined paths parents can use. Several administrative tools allow you to track your children's progress and understanding of each lesson.
There are, however, mixed reviews about Rosetta Stone overall and its teaching methods. Some people prefer the Pimsleur Approach. This software is purely audio, and does not cover the writing and reading aspects. Pimsleur teaches recall of word sounds instead of associating them with pictures. Pimsleur may be boring to children because it is not very interactive. Rosetta Stone offers an online demo so you can try it before buying. Pimsleur offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

Online Services

Both Rosetta Stone and the Pimsleur Approach are fairly expensive, so it doesn't hurt to look into alternatives. Instructors from Latin America and Spain give Spanish lessons at via Skype for as little as $15 per lesson. not only incorporates contemporary Japanese culture and news while teaching you the language, but costs only $1 for a bandwidth charge.
There are more options than the ones presented here. Do some of your own research as well to determine the best path for you and your children.

1 comment:

  1. Learning a foreign language at an early age is a very good idea! I started learning Spanish in high school and I'm continuing it during college. It's not easy and I wish I could have started earlier.

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