Go High Tech With Language

Technology has quickly become an essential component in any human learning activity, and foreign language learning is no different.

With countless apps and resources available in the digital world, there is little limit to how one can use technology to enhance language learning. Whether you are a teacher or a parent looking for ways to improve how quickly and well your kid will learn a second language, these are a few resources you should explore:

Media

This can range anywhere from eBooks in the target language to movies. Body language, visual incentive, and sounds are all critical components in an immersive language learning environment. While your child might be experiencing all of those at their language class or specialized daycare, there is no reason not to expand this to your home.

e-books

Movies and songs will stimulate and better your child’s comprehension of the new language through the same processes they went through in learning their mother tongue.

Perhaps in their classes or daycare your kids don’t have access to a native speaker, which would make the use of media all that necessary while at home. Through entertainment, they will have the opportunity to listen to native speakers[1] and passively pick up native accents as well as vocabulary they wouldn’t have otherwise.

 

Not only watching videos, but there are also tools out there that enable children to make their own videos.

Apps like Yakit Kids[2] can be tailored so that students may produce short videos in their target language, a process that, according to The Guardian,[3] “draws upon multiple intelligences, promotes creativity and fosters collaboration.”

EBooks enter this fold as they manage to take all children could learn from a regular textbook to a whole new level. They are interactive and easier to navigate than their paper and ink counterparts.

The ease of use and interactive aspect of eBooks help foster motivation towards learning that children might not experience if they had to face a regular textbook.

News

The obvious benefit of encouraging your child to keep up to date with what is happening in countries that speak his or her target language is that they will be actively learning and improving their vocabulary through reading. However, there are other underlying benefits to this.[4]

Sometimes children may become disinterested in learning a new language simply because they get bored of it. mother-and-girl-talkingThrough news articles, you have a good chance of countering this. Instead of just words on a paper that they need to learn, by keeping up with the news, children may develop curiosity towards the culture of that country. And there is no better fuel for learning than curiosity.

Wondering how people on the other side of the globe live, what challenges they face every day, or how different their habits are from ours, are all threads of curiosity that, by the consumption of news, your child can develop and use as an incentive to keep working hard to learn a new language.

Apps

In the past decade, the use of apps has arguably been the most prominent change in our daily lives.

It doesn’t matter if you live in Los Angeles or Tokyo. The odds are that at some point during your day you are using an app.

Going along with their everyday uses, apps are also great tools for learning new languages.

As we discussed a few paragraphs ago, there are video apps that can be tailored to help children interact and create content in a new language.

little-girl-with-tablet

There are apps where you can change the language of a video to your child’s target language. There are apps where you can download podcasts in the target language for your kids. There are even quiz apps where kids can test their vocabulary and knowledge of the target language.

And, most notably, there are apps designed to help people learn new languages. Rosetta Stone and Duolingo are good examples of apps (software) that are language courses on their own. They have interactive interfaces and features that allow students to go about learning a new language at their own pace.

Even if they might not be the most powerful primary means by which your child can learn a new language, they may indeed turn out to be at least useful resources for self-study and practice.

Have you heard of or found any other uses for technology in learning a new language? Let us know in the comments section. And if you’d like to know more about raising bilingual children in this digital era don’t forget to visit our Facebook page.

[1] http://www.santillanausa.com/spanish-classroom/3-ways-to-use-technology-in-the-foreign-language-classroom-free-resources-for-spanish-teachers.html

[2] https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/yakit-kids/id794546203?mt=8

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2014/may/13/modern-foreign-languages-technology-tools-students-fluent

[4] http://www.fluentu.com/educator/blog/using-technology-in-the-foreign-language-classroom/

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