Tips in Learning a Second Language

learning second language

Taking the leap to learn another language can be a difficult one. It involves selecting the proper program regardless of age group. Adults that want to continue learning a second language need a different curriculum than preschoolers or young children. Adolescents and young adults need different parameters and reading materials.

As a matter of fact, it also involves a notion of what you want out of learning a second language. Making a reflection plan can help you understand your language learning goals. Where do you start?

Continue reading Tips in Learning a Second Language

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Fun ways to use a flannel board to learn Spanish shapes and vocabulary

Flannel boards are great learning tools to use for storytelling. But it can also be used for displaying new vocabulary and shapes. It is so versatile that no homeschool classroom or preschool class can be without one.

When using a flannel board, educators or parents can use very simple materials to make one. You can use a 11×6 inches board, which can easily fit in your hand. Or, you can use poster size board, which can have multiple uses.

School

How to use a flannel board to learn shapes?

You can use it by displaying different shapes with its respective names. And you can also use it along with the English and Spanish terms. A fun game of guessing each shape’s names is a fantastic way to learn them. You can also use different colors of flannel to make the shapes.

You can get the worksheets to make these shapes and names by visiting the Math Worksheet section.

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How to use a flannel board to learn vocabulary?

Learning new words is more fun when they are introduced in a flannel board. Simply, use a theme like hearts or shamrocks to make a central icon about the words. For instance, when you use a shamrock, you can incorporate all the V-words in Spanish associated with the beginning sound ver-. Not only does it add new words but it also helps children vocalize new phonic sounds.

You can get the worksheets to make the shamrock pattern and the ver- words in the Language worksheet.

Flannel boards are useful educational tools. They allow the learning to be fun and innovative. With so many colors of flannel, the possibilities of teaching are endless.

Will you construct one for your preschool class today?

How will you use your flannel board?

Why being bilingual can improve language learning?

Is being bilingual in diverse languages besides the native one an excellent way to improve your brain skills? The way we acquire language is an amazing process. In fact, children, younger than 3 years old, are able to absorb words in many different languages.

“The brain has a perfectly good system whose job it is to do just that – it’s the executive control system. It focuses attention on what’s important and ignores distraction. Therefore, for a bilingual, the executive control system is used in every sentence you utter. That’s what makes it strong.” Ellen Bialystok explained.

Bilingualism

Many schools in the United States offer a foreign language program. And many of them are not implemented until High School. But studies show the earlier a child learns another language, the better for the child’s brain. However, not until recently, scientific evidence suggests learning another language is better for your brain.

Between the 1880s and 1960s, educators believed learning a second language can lead to literacy disruption, language delay, and confusion. The opposite is true. Many of the benefits include language improvement, logical thinking, and enhancement of cognitive abilities.

Reading spelled with magnetic lettersRecent Studies

A recent study shows how infants write down signs of improved cognitive ability. A group of 7-month old babies were shown an image followed by a sound. Then, a puppet is presented in one particular part of the study. Several variations of the patterns and sounds are presented. And the puppet is moved from one place to another. Amazingly, bilingual children are able to expect the change of place of the puppet while monolingual babies were not.

Other studies show children between the ages of 5 and 6 years old that have learned a foreign language tend to prove developed mental skills. As a matter of fact, bilinguals add more details to drawings, suggesting creativity and enhanced language skills. A current study using functional near-infrared spectroscopy shows a difference in brain structure between monolinguals and bilinguals. The brain of bilinguals shows more activity in the inferior frontal cortex while reading. The human brain is an immense, powerful organ. And language acquisition is only one of its functions.

Additional Benefits

Besides the ability to know two or more languages, learning a foreign language has more benefits. It provides a competitive edge in college applications and resumes. It eliminates distractions and focuses on the task at hand. This mental agility gives the brain an extra boost in learning. And it can later prevent the early signs of dementia or mind aging.

The previous idea that learning a second language can delay language acquisition is an unproved one. Scientific evidence suggests bilinguals have more brain activity. Even as young as 3 years old, learning another language does not prevent their linguistics. Being bilingual is a great way to increase language learning for life.