(this lovely image is from NIFTYHOMESTEAD.COM)
Use the Old to Learn the New
Whenever possible, when teaching kids a new language, try to STAY IN THAT LANGUAGE.
So — instead of simply translating a new word, exhaust all antics & creative efforts first.
Two simple ideas:
- Use words they already know to define the new one.
- Mime the meaning — the sillier the better.
Example when teaching the word for LAMP:
- “It’s for light at night.” (explained using simple words in the target language.)
- Click an imaginary light on, and flair your fingers out to indicate brightness. Overdo it by shielding your eyes and falling to the floor in pain. It’s so BRIGHT!
When they shout out LAMP, you’ve just lit up the room! After you let them make the connection, properly celebrate by running a lap around the room, breaking into a fit of high fives, or calmly uttering “Well done.” (We all have our own style!)
You get it — as they learn more & more language, this becomes easier. AND, you’re making them do the brain work that helps them feel successful while engaging more deeply in the language-learning experience.