Can you tell me the best way to learn a new language? The one that'll work all the time, every time? The method that will enable you to learn a language, speak it fluently and keep that skill embedded in you for life?
Its easy guys - Just start learning it when you're a child!
Now admittedly, that's probably not going to help you much unless your under five reading this, or you've mastered the art of time travel. But if you've got kids, you should definitely consider a "learn Spanish for kids" program of some kind for them.
Did you know that learning a language happens without any effort whatsoever between the ages of 1-12? Makes you kind of envious of kids doesn't it. And they not only get the obvious benefits of being fluent in a second language, but lots of other perks too. According to experts, children who are exposed to a foreign language from a very young age (the younger the better) tend to also display qualities like:
* advanced reading and writing skills
* richer vocabulary
* increased cognitive ability
* increased maths and English skills
There are some very good online packages around that will help your kids learn Spanish. You can get CD's of singalong songs, DVDs of cute TV shows and vocabulary building clips, fun interactive games, story books to make bedtime reading a multilingual experience, and much, much more. Learning Spanish, for kids, is exactly the same as learning English. They only need to hear it spoken around them, and to be asked for the names of objects so they'll repeat it for themselves. They need to be immersed in the language so that the sounds and speech patterns become familiar to them.
Your child will be at a massive advantage if one of the parents is already proficient in Spanish.
This method tends to works best if used straight away, from birth or when your child is just starting to learn to understand speech and copy words. However, if your child is already speaking fluent English and you want him or her to learn Spanish, too, it's not too late! You just want to make the experience as fun as possible. Check out some online "learn Spanish for kids" programs and courses, and make lessons an exciting and enjoyable part of your child's daily routine. Play games, read books, sing songs and practice simple conversation together. Come up with a fun way to memorize and test vocabulary, whether that's using some interactive software, or just making it into a game.
Be creative! If the child's enjoying it, they'll see learning Spanish as an exciting activity that they want to keep returning to on a daily basis. And the benefits of fluency in Spanish will be with them for the rest of their lives!