How to Spark It

Fri, 09 Jul, 2021

7 Super Effective Strategies to Motivate Your Child to Learn a Language

Language learning strategies


Children are natural at learning languages. Unlike adolescents and adults, they have this innate ability to imitate pronunciation and work out the language rules for themselves. For example, the idea of learning to talk in English doesn’t seem difficult for children unless it’s indicated by adults, who probably have had learned English quite late in life.

Once you have helped your child decide on the language they are interested in, there are several things that you can do to motivate them to learn the language and master it faster. Read on.

Create a reading corner

Children who love to read, love to learn. If they struggle at reading, they struggle at learning too. Hence, reading is the key to success in learning.

Reading helps children develop a much richer vocabulary, train their brains to process concepts faster, and help them communicate better. 

Moreover, the skills developed through reading are far beyond increased performance in language class. It extends to all other subjects and life in general. So, help your child develop reading skills and a love for reading by creating an atmosphere that demonstrates how important reading is.  

  • Have your child read aloud.

  • Read to your child frequently.

  • Let your child pick up books of their interest. 

  • Create a family reading time where everyone reads for 20 minutes a day.

  • Create activities for them to make reading fun.

  • Speak the language. Daily English conversation for kids or practising whichever language they are learning is a must.

Encourage open communication

Create an open atmosphere where your child feels comfortable expressing their opinions, likes, dislikes or concerns. When your child shares an opinion, you have to validate it, even if you disagree. If your child feels that their opinions don’t matter, they are more likely to disengage from the learning process.

Introduce and encourage different types of learning styles

Each child has a unique learning style and preference. There are fundamentally four different types of learners: Visual, Auditory/Aural, Read & Write, and Kinesthetic. While some children have a dominant learning style, others may prefer to use a mix of learning styles. Helping your child discover their learning style and using the learning techniques specific to that learning style can help improve the quality and pace of their learning.

Promote game-based learning

Games as educational tools motivate children to want to engage in the learning process and learn more. Game-based learning is entertaining and keeps the child engaged, allowing their mind to experience the pleasure of learning a new language. Introducing new ideas, concepts, grammar and knowledge to children through game-based learning is a great idea.

Focus on the process and not the results

Your focus should be on your child’s learning experience and not on their performance. When you focus on what your child is learning, you are actually communicating to your child that learning is more important than test results/grades. By focusing on the learning experience, you are also helping your child to solidify what they have learned.  

Help your child get more organised

Disorganisation is common among school-going children, but it can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed. Disorganised children spend more time and effort in being frustrated and worried about learning. So, help your child to get organised with their books, papers, school supplies and assignments. This will help them feel more in control, less overwhelmed and more motivated to learn.

Use online learning tools and apps

The marketplace is flooded with online tools, apps, and resources to help your child learn the language in a fun way. These online learning apps and tools can make language learning entertaining, engaging and fun, thus motivating your child to learn more. Some popular language learning apps and tools are Duolingo, Drops, Busuu, and Memrise.  

It’s no secret: Learning a language can help your child get ahead in life. But, when learning a language, your child needs constant encouragement, praise and support. And you, as parents, are in an ideal position to motivate them to learn. By helping your child learn a language, you are also playing a critical role in influencing their lifelong attitudes towards language learning and different cultures.