Have you ever wondered how babies go from saying nothing to bursting with language “all of a sudden”? Babies work on a listen first, speak later basis. They spend months taking in language, making sense of sound boundaries, connecting sounds to meaning, then VOILA!, the magic seems to just happen.
As it turns out, the process is not really so mysterious and magical at all. It’s what language experts call “input”. Input is simply all the language one comes in contact with. Babies get tons of input. A big part of winning in a second language is making sure your child gets as much as input, or exposure, to the second language as possible. The great news is that there are quick simple ways you can create input for your child at home — without being fluent in the second language!
How much exposure does your child currently get to the second language? Sadly, it’s minimal or nonexistent in most elementary schools, which is why we developed language enrichment programs for kids to enjoy after school. And, to prevent summer language backslide, our fun thematic language camps keep kids going strong.
What you can do now
Many kids don’t make much progress in a second language due to lack of input. It can seem like an uphill battle, especially if parents don’t speak the second language. But, there’s hope!
Here are 4 easy things you can do to take your home environment from zero input to mucho: