Are you an ex-pat living in Germany or have a German family that does not speak English much or simply wants your child to learn the German language for the purpose of learning a foreign language? You may have varied reasons to help your child learn the German language and if you are wondering what you can do to teach German to your kids then read on.
Learning a new skill especially is easier for kids when compared to adults. It is good to start as early as possible. They absorb everything they see and hear around them. Hence, try to create a German learning atmosphere at home.
Things to keep in mind
Making German learning a family activity can also help. Try to find time to learn the language along with your child. Young children just pick up words and use them as they are without worrying about the grammar and sentence construction in the beginning. This is how they speak their native language as well. Let them follow this method if they are very young. Nursery rhymes, lullabies, reading stories to them, can all help you get them accustomed to the language. You can also practice singing along which is fun and interesting. Starting from pictorial books for vocabulary to storybooks with illustrations and pictures can all be your tools to teach German to your kids. Watching television and cartoons is an activity that most kids enjoy. Use this intelligently to help them learn German. While they may not learn every word they listen to, they can pick up most of the things and understand the context which is essential in learning a new language. You can play age-appropriate games with your kids that allow them to learn the language as an integral part. Scrabble or other such games can be very helpful. Memory games, flashcards, finding words for pictures, etc. are all other activities they can enjoy. You can help your child learn in a group if there are other children learning German. Role plays or other such group activities such as themed events can help in both social interaction and learning German. You can find a German teacher online. Just look for someone who is experienced in teaching kids. There are language learning platforms like Multibhashi that allow you to connect to a teacher who is experienced and knows how to teach kids in an age-appropriate manner. A language is very closely associated with its culture. You can help your children understand different cultural and traditional practices followed in Germany. One interesting example is the German Carnival. Cuisine, folk and fairy tales, and costumes are all different aspects of a culture that can be chosen based on the child’s interest in learning the language. For school-going children, German can be a foreign language as a subject. This helps them learn the language as a part of the curriculum.
Do not worry too much about the grammar in the initial stages because that can come naturally to kids as they progress learning German. Most children enjoy an activity in a group or with a partner. Thus, make learning German a family activity or make an effort to speak yourself, which will encourage your child to follow suit.
Immersion need not always mean living in Germany. Make good use of all the resources available to you and help your child learn German.