Ten Tips for Parents of Foreign Language Students
Parents can share in a child's foreign language experience whether or not they are familiar with the language their child is studying. Here are some suggestions provided by Loudoun County Foreign Language teachers:
- Be enthusiastic, supportive and inquisitive about your child's foreign language adventure.
- Ask your child frequently even daily what he did in class that day. Have him explain how the day's lesson fit into the overall language experience as he sees it.
- There are assignments everyday. Monitor your child's homework. Ask to see the finished product.
- Encourage your child to use a digital audio recording for practice. Students enjoy hearing themselves on audio and can easily create useful exercises. For example, the student records a list of vocabulary in English, pausing after each word, before supplying the foreign language translation. When playing the audio file, the student gives the foreign language translation for each English word and hears his pre-recorded answer allowing him to further practice.
- Encourage your child to cut our pictures of vocabulary he is learning. Keep a collection in a 3 ring binder or download visuals onto a digital file; this becomes a digital picture dictionary.
- Give your child frequent vocabulary drills at home. The more often the vocabulary is used the better it is retained. Don't forget to review old vocabulary too. Grammar and vocabulary drills from the Realidades text are available through PHSchool.com. For specific Spanish grammar or vocabulary practice visit www.studyspanish.com. Additional information for other languages is available on the Resources and Links page.
- Ask your child to name items around the house after he has had certain lessons. He'll enjoy being the teacher and everyone can join in the fun.
- There are a number of TV and radio programs offered in foreign languages. Encourage your child to listen for correct pronunciation and familiar words and phrases.
- Encourage your child to read homework aloud or record exercises. Put it aside and listen to it later. Can he recognize what is said?