Language Stories

10 simple ideas for introducing foreign language learning to toddlers

Posted by Language Stars on Oct 19, 2017 1:28:53 PM

Numerous studies have found that it's easier for children to learn a second language than for them to wait until adulthood to do so. Kids' brains function differently than those of adults, so they are simply better able to absorb different aspects of language learning. Their minds are truly like little sponges!

Knowing this, many parents' logical next question is: At what age should I teach my child to be multilingual?

The answer: A child is never too young to begin learning different languages.

In multilingual households, babies are exposed to different languages starting the day they are born. As children grow, so do the opportunities to learn. Language Stars classes begin when tots are age 12 months or older, helping them to gain foreign language skills simultaneously as they naturally learn the English language at this age.

Toddlers' natural curiosity makes language learning a truly magical experience. Patient parents who go slow and focus on the fundamentals will be rewarded with accelerated early childhood development.  To support your child's progression toward becoming multilingual, try these 10 language activities for toddlers at home:

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Topics: childhood development, parenting, foreign language

Today and tomorrow: Foreign language skills matter

Posted by Language Stars on Oct 10, 2017 8:53:53 PM

No matter how much you believe in the importance of foreign-language education, there will always be naysayers. Common arguments include the idea that technology will communicate for us, making multilingualism obsolete. Others point to English being the world's language, so why should we worry about learning anything else? Others think foreign language is simply too complex for kids to learn.

Realistically, language skills today matter more than ever before. Here are some intriguing reasons why becoming multilingual will benefit your child now and well into the future:

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Topics: childhood development, foreign language

Does speaking a foreign language make people feel differently?

Posted by Language Stars on Aug 10, 2017 11:30:47 AM

Can speaking a different language make you feel differently about yourself or your surroundings? Research suggests yes.

Just like the clothes you wear can affect how you feel, it turns out the language you speak has a similar effect. One language may make you feel more confident and authoritative, while another may make you feel more elegant and sophisticated. 

Nairan Ramírez-Esparza, an assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Connecticut, led a study in which bilingual Mexican Americans took a personality test in English and Spanish. In the English version of the test, they scored higher in extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

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Topics: childhood development, parenting, foreign language

How to decide what foreign languages your kids should learn

Posted by Language Stars on Jul 27, 2017 3:34:38 PM

It's no secret, new language acquisition is beneficial during early childhood development. It doesn't matter the language—when a child is multilingual, it provides a bounty of benefits. If you're researching educational options that teach foreign language for kids, you're already on the right path to giving your child a gift that will last a lifetime.

Learning another language helps the mind to think differently. Your child not only benefits from knowing several languages, but this manner of thinking can help them in other subject areas, too. Often, multilingual children do better in math, science and music. Helping children to learn a new language is like giving them an edge at school and beyond.

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Topics: childhood development, foreign language, language

How is it that kids can learn foreign languages so easily?

Posted by Language Stars on Jul 20, 2017 1:09:54 PM

Most people have heard that it's easiest to learn a foreign language when a person is still a child rather than waiting until they're a teen or an adult. However, many schools don't introduce regular language instruction until high school, missing out on a key opportunity.

Why do kids learn a language easier when they are younger? It appears the brain works differently during early childhood development. In fact, even babies have the incredible ability to recognize different sounds and learn multiple languages at once. 

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Topics: childhood development, foreign language, language

Why it's important for parents & teachers to introduce diversity early

Posted by Language Stars on Jul 12, 2017 2:05:35 PM

Infants as young as 6 months can begin to distinguish differences in physical characteristics, such as skin colors, hair textures and facial features. As kids grow, they notice even more individual traits that make people unique, and they will become aware of how they are alike and unique from their family and peers.

In the melting pot of America, there are many different cultures represented. Parents and teachers might think that diversity education happens naturally through this exposure in schools and in communities. But parent leadership to discuss real issues, such as cultural diversity, is critical during childhood development. So why is it so essential to discuss diversity while children are still young? Consider these top reasons:

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Topics: childhood development, parenting, schools

3 parenting tips to make this your best summer

Posted by Language Stars on Jun 23, 2017 8:50:18 AM

The first official day of summer just passed. Your young learner is likely ready for ice cream, sleepovers, and summer camp. But in order to support your child's cognitive development, you need to engage them with fun activities that challenge their minds. Here are 3 of our top parenting tips to ensure summer is both fun and supports childhood development.

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Topics: childhood development, parenting, foreign language

3 essential reasons why we should teach kids new languages

Posted by Language Stars on Jun 12, 2017 11:35:29 AM

Currently, there are about 6,000 languages spoken around the world. By the end of the century, some experts predict there will only be several hundred.

English is quickly becoming the universal language. Even in countries with an official national language, English is frequently taught to kids and spoken fluently alongside their first language. English dominates the internet, with an estimated 52 percent of websites featuring the language (the second closest is Russian, with a mere 6 percent). What's more, new technology is being developed that is amazing at translating spoken voice into another language in real time.

Is there a reason to learn more than English these days? Absolutely.

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Topics: languages, childhood development, parenting, foreign language, language

The science behind play: when kids have fun learning comes naturally

Posted by Language Stars on Jun 9, 2017 11:26:41 AM

As parents, you want to give your kids the best possible start in life. The earlier they can master important educational skills, the better, right? Who wouldn't be proud if their child read ahead of their grade level or aced their algebra final?

However, increased pressure for kids to learn quickly from parents and the educational system is transforming the classroom. Many experts claim kindergarten is the new first grade, which means what you experienced growing up in elementary school is likely vastly different than what your kids are experiencing.

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Topics: languages, childhood development, parenting, foreign language, language

6 reasons your school needs better language programs [Infographic]

Posted by Language Stars on Mar 15, 2017 2:09:39 PM

Whether you're a school principal, PTO/PTA parent, or a key decision maker at an educational program, you've likely balanced trying to offer quality foreign language teachers with a shrinking budget. While some schools and educational programs are providing high-quality world language enrichment, many are struggling to deliver an experience that provides the foreign language instruction needed to raise language proficiency and transferable STEM skills. Explore this infographic to discover 6 of the top reasons why your school or educational program needs to find a better solution. 

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Topics: childhood development, foreign language, schools