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“One Parent, One Language”: How It Works


It’s no secret that children are sponges when it comes to learning. This is especially true for learning languages. 

Due to the high elasticity and rapid neural formation that exists in a young child’s developing brain, the best time for a child to start learning a second language is before the age of ten. 

But the question is, how can children learn two languages at one time

There are a few different methods for raising bilingual children, and one of the most popular techniques is the “one parent one language method,” or the OPOL method

What is “One Parent, One Language”?

As the name suggests, “one parent, one language” or OPOL is an at home language teaching method where each parent speaks a different language to their children. This is a very common method to maximize a child’s exposure to two languages at the same time on a quest to achieve bilingualism. 

This idea stems from the fact that language skills are developed by constant exposure. If each parent sticks to their respective language, theoretically, their children will receive 50/50 exposure. 

Most of the time, the OPOL method is used by multilingual parents who share common tongues. In these situations, each parent chooses the language that they feel more comfortable speaking. However, there are a few variations to make this method work for raising bilingual children. 

Most of the time, this is done with two native speakers, but it can also work when non-native speakers have reached a native level of fluency in a language and want to pass it down to their child for their benefit of learning a second language.

In another scenario, “the one parent, one language” methodology can also be successful in a family setting with one monolingual parent and one multilingual parent. In this circumstance, the child will most likely have an easier time separating the two languages.

Is One Parent One Language Successful?

To put it simply, each child is very different and so are their family and social circumstances. But in any case, the success rate is much higher if the method is followed more strictly

Although there are many opinions on this method (more on that in a later section), the OPOL method has been thoroughly researched and is continually used by many families.

According to a study of over 2000 families conducted by Annick De Houwer, 75% of children raised with the “one parent, one language” approach became bilingual. This statistic is determined on how strictly this method was followed during each child’s upbringing. 

Although there is no 100% guarantee that the OPOL method will work, consistency makes all the difference, as explained by Annick De Houwer. 

For the obtaining the optimal outcome and having your children reach bilingualism, please read on to discover 5 tips for a successful “one parent, one language” execution.

5 Tips for a Successful “One Parent, One Language” Execution 

1. Consistency is key

As previously mentioned, consistency is the main factor that determines the outcome of the OPOL approach. 

Each parent needs to speak their respective languages at all times

This includes addressing the children in the chosen language even if speaking to others in another language (for example, a parent who is socializing in English will need to speak directly to their child in French, even though it is not the language of conversation), at the dinner table, picking them up from school, at soccer practice– you name it. 

It’s also important to be aware that children are likely to mix languages at the beginning and respond with the incorrect language (for example, responding to an English question in Spanish). However, in these cases, it’s very important to remain consistent and encourage the children to try to respond in the proper language of the moment. 

The level of consistency is generally determined by the parents. The more rigid the structure, the better the outcome will be

2. Enhance Exposure with Outside Resources

One of the most significant benefits of our day and age is technology. We have access to so many tools and language learning resources- it’s almost impossible not to find any! 

In addition to speaking to your children in a designated language, consider finding TV shows, movies, podcasts, and online courses to help them be even more immersed into the languages and cultures.

One of the best resources to aid in achieving bilingualism is online language classes

Understanding how to read, write, and talk to different people is great for a child’s all-around development. As children are the most adept to learn quickly before the age of ten, it’s important to look for classes that are centered around young children’s learning styles to keep them engaged. 

Bilingualbebe is an example of a great online resource created with this in mind. You can join more than 200 other families that have already enrolled their children in online courses in Spanish, French, or English to give their children language exposure from a trained professional. The best part? Your children will have fun while learning!

3. Talk, Read, Sing, and Play!

One parent one language method

Language exposure doesn’t have to be limited to only daily conversations about school, dinner table discussions, and structured lessons. Be sure to chat, tell jokes, read, sing, and play in the target language to fill each area of your child’s life with proper language exposure. 

Allowing your child’s imagination to roam free will be even better for their development if they have the proper vocabulary to do so. Listening to stories, reading together, singing silly songs, and playing together will help build a wider vocabulary. 

It’s not every day at the dinner table that you hear stories about knights in shining armor rescuing a princess from a castle, sing songs about animals under the sea, and dress up as wizards casting spells in different languages. 

Play time is what kids look forward to the most– encourage them to play in each language that they are learning to develop a strong vocabulary. 

4. Find a Community of Native Speakers

Developing relationships is a great way to enhance language fluency. Finding a community of native speakers of the target language will give your child extra encouragement to achieve fluency. 

If a child is mixing two languages in the house because each parent understands both languages, it will be a longer process for them to differentiate between the two languages. However, by joining a community of native speakers, a child will quickly realize that they have to stick to one language in order to properly communicate. 

Not only does this aid in fluency and fight against code-switching in the same sentence, but it also allows the child to create a bigger social circle. Who doesn’t love having more friends to spend time with?

5. Do Not Listen to Criticism 

At the end of the day, one of the biggest struggles that parents using the OPOL method will face is criticism. Unfortunately, the methods of raising bilingual children are frequently up for debate and everyone has an opinion on which method works the best.

In these situations, it’s important to understand that each family will have its own method that works best for them. Success in one family doesn’t automatically translate to success in another. 

If “one parent, one language” is your chosen method, it’s important to stick with it. As mentioned multiple times throughout this article (to stress the importance!)- consistency is key. This includes staying consistent even when facing criticism from others in the language community. 

Criticism: “One Parent, One Language”

One major criticism of the OPOL approach is that it can be too difficult to stick to only one language. Consistency is the main problem, and it manifests itself in different ways.

If in a social situation where no one understands the language of choice, apart from the parent and child, there can be pressure to use the common tongue to fit in. It may feel awkward speaking a language that no one else is familiar with. 

In another sense, it may instead feel rude to not give others the opportunity to participate in (or understand) the conversation, instead of just feeling awkward. The pressure to “fit in” and be inclusive is all too common. It is a heavy factor that affects the level of consistency. 

Another criticism of the “one parent, one language” approach is that there is usually one language that gets more exposure than the other. In a perfect world, language exposure would be split 50/50 between each parent. However, in the real world, there are many external factors weighing in on the amount of time that each parent (and therefore each language) is interacting with the child. 

This unequal exposure would result in a stronger, more dominant language and consequently, a weaker language

Another commonly pointed-out weakness of this method is that more often than not, children get more exposure to one language outside of the family. For example, let’s take a family living in the United States with one parent speaking English and one parent speaking French. As English is the main language in the United States, the child would clearly have more exposure to English outside of the home as well. Even if the parents have made a true 50/50 language exposure plan work inside the home, the amount of English exposure is much higher than that of French. This would mean that the French-speaking parent has to work much harder to achieve an equal balance of both languages.

Alternatives to “One Parent, One Language”

“One parent, one language” is not the only method to raise children in a bilingual household. Let’s take a look at two strong alternatives:

  • MLAHMinority Language At Home. As the name suggests, this approach focuses only on using a minority language in the household. For example, a family living in the United States who chooses to speak a language other than English inside the home would be using the MLAH method. This method is also very popular for expats who are living away from their home countries. While using the majority language at school, at work, with friends, and in the community, the minority language gets its exposure time at home. This method is shown to have high success rates with parents who speak the same languages.
  • Natural Exposure. Sometimes, there is not always a strict plan. Each family ecosystem is very different, and some families thrive better without a rigid structure. As exposure is the key to learning any language, simply keeping up with the quantity and quality of exposure can be very beneficial for young children. Whether this includes a lot of conversations, traveling, listening to the radio, watching TV shows and movies, finding a group of friends, or singing songs all in the target language– the possibilities for language exposure are endless. This method allows for a lot of creativity and doesn’t have a strict set of rules. 

Conclusion

If you are deciding on a parenting method to raise bilingual children, it’s important to pick a method that works best for your schedule, your environment, and your family’s ecosystem. 
The OPOL method is popular and very well known for a reason– success is very probable.

 

Teaching French to your kids at home is an endeavor that requires methodology and research. Whether it is through the one parent one language methodology, French books, games, school or online classes, consistency and regularity will be key.

At Bilingual Bebe, parents will receive printable worksheets in French to complement what children learned in their live weekly classes. Whether it is practicing their conjugation, grammar, cultural knowledge, problem solving, or simple handwriting exercises, our teachers will always offer support and guidance after class. Download these free printable worksheets for kids to learn French and get started!

#1 Choose the sentence in French that corresponds to what you see in the picture

In this activity, children who already know how to read are encouraged to exercise their comprehension. They will learn to understand simple and short sentences and develop their critical thinking around the accuracy of information that is given to them. Even if they get it wrong the first time, they will learn new vocabulary and understand the French language subtleties.

#2 Phonics and the sound “On”: Read the French words and write them below the correct picture

When learning to read, one of the key differences between French and English is the different sounds that two letters can make. In this worksheets for kids to learn French at home, we are learning the sound “on”.

#3 French Pronoun worksheet: Complete the sentence with the correct pronoun He or She (Il ou Elle)

He or She, Il ou Elle: try this fun worksheet with your child to see if they nail it. When learning a language, practice and repetition make all the difference.

#4 Hidden words – all about Fall

With this activity, visual recognition and vocabulary are key! First, have your child read each words, then have them circle the words in the grid. Your child will exercise their reading skills and acquire new vocabulary around a specific theme.

#5 Language activity for the little ones

Phonics: match the first letter to the correct picture. Another way to teach vocabulary, learn phonics in French with the ultimate goal of learning to read in French,

At Bilingual Bebe, we offer live online classes with native certified teachers paired with as a unique small classroom experience, where children interact, converse, problem solve and communicate. Our format keeps children engaged and enhances soft skills along with language learning. But that’s not all, students also receive guidance and support after class. This means: daily printable worksheets related to what they learned during the week. Parents can also connect with their teachers through our messenger for any questions or support needed after class. To get started Apply for a Free trial now!

Looking for a way to help your kids practice Spanish? Well, why not introduce them to some great Spanish movies? In this blog post, we’ll share 7 of the best Spanish movies for kids, perfect for kids ages 3-12 who are learning the language!

From heartwarming tales of friendship to exciting adventure stories, these movies are sure to keep your kids entertained while they learn Spanish vocabulary and discover the cultures of Latin America and Spain. 

And the best part is you can find all of these movies streaming online on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and Tubi!

At the end of the post, we’ll also share some more tips on how to help your kids learn Spanish and how you can get a free trial of an online Spanish class for kids. Let’s begin!

7 of the Best Spanish Kids Movies

#1 Coco  

Coco is a touching story about a young boy named Miguel who dreams of becoming a famous musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. When Miguel is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead, he must find a way back to the living before it’s too late. 

Along the way, he learns about his ancestors and the importance of family. “Coco” is a great movie for kids to watch because it teaches valuable lessons about family, tradition, and following your dreams.

This award-winning movie was popular when it debuted in 2017. So, there’s a good chance your child has already seen it in English. But now could be a great time to watch it again, only this time in Spanish!

Where to Watch: Disney+

#2 Pachamama

Pachamama is an animated movie about a young boy who wants to be a shaman. The movie follows the boy as he goes on a mission to retrieve a statue taken from his Andean village. 

By watching this film, your kids will have the opportunity to learn about the ancient Inca civilization while also practicing Spanish. In addition to being an educational film, it’s also beautiful to watch!

The movie is originally in English, but you can change the language to Spanish on Netflix or add Spanish subtitles. 

Where to Watch: Netflix

#3 Ozzy

Ozzy tells the story of a loveable beagle who gets left behind in a pet hotel when his family goes on a trip to Japan. Ozzy quickly realizes that the pet hotel is run more like a pet prison. 

Ozzy then finds a way to escape and embarks on a journey to get back home, making new friends along the way. This is a great film for young kids as it’s both heartwarming and funny.

Where to Watch: Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video

#4 Ferdinand

Ferdinand is an animated film about a bull who is mistaken for a dangerous beast and is taken away from his home. Ferdinand then goes on an adventure to find his way back home. 

This movie is full of cute characters and plenty of laughs, so your kids will love it. There is an English version, but you can change the language to Spanish and add subtitles for your kids to follow along.

Where to Watch: Disney+

#5 Vivo

Vivo is a funny and touching animated musical about a kinkajou who dreams of becoming a famous singer. When he meets a musician who needs help reconnecting with a long-lost love, he begins a journey to deliver a song. 

Along the way, he makes new friends and gains the confidence to follow his dreams. This fun movie will have your kids singing along (in Spanish!) and laughing all the way to the end.

Where to Watch: Netflix

#6 El Camino de Xico

El Camino de Xico is an animated film from Mexico about a young girl, Copi, who goes on a journey with her dog Xico to save a mountain from a greedy corporation. 

This heartwarming story is perfect for kids of all ages. And, in addition to being a great opportunity to practice Spanish, this film will teach kids the importance of environmentalism and standing up for what’s right.

Where to Watch: Netflix

#7 Anina

Anina is a film about a 10-year-old girl who’s teased at school because of her name. In an attempt to get the other kids to stop making fun of her, she starts a fight with another girl during recess. As punishment for her behavior, Anina receives a mysterious envelope that she can’t open for one week. Her fear of punishment eventually leads to her getting mixed up in a much bigger adventure that helps her learn about herself. 

Kids will love following along with Anina’s journey, and they’ll also appreciate the film’s message about being true to yourself. The Spanish in this film may be a bit advanced if your child is just starting to learn Spanish. So make good use of the subtitles and treat it as opportunity to practice listening skills! 

Where to Watch: Tubi

Other Ways to Help Your Child Learn Spanish

Watching movies in Spanish is a great way for kids to practice Spanish, but it’s not the best way for them to actually learn how to speak Spanish.

So, you’ll need to try a combination of language learning methods if you want to raise a bilingual child.

Here are a few examples of other ways to help your child learn Spanish:

  • Read Spanish children’s books
  • Listen to music in Spanish
  • Play Spanish language learning games together
  • Find native Spanish speakers who can help your child practice talking in Spanish
  • Take a vacation to a Spanish-speaking country
  • Enroll your child in Spanish language classes that give children opportunities to speak and learn from a native Spanish-speaking teacher

For more ideas, check out our blog post on how to learn Spanish as a family!

Final Thoughts

Movies are a great way to spark a child’s interest in learning about a new language and culture. We hope you and your child enjoy one or more of the Spanish movies for kids that we’ve shared in this blog post!

We also hope we’ve given you some ideas on additional ways to help your child become bilingual in Spanish! The best way to achieve that goal will be by enrolling your child in classes where they get to interact with other kids, practice speaking Spanish, and have fun while learning from a certified teacher.

At Bilingual Bebe, we have online classes, for children ages 3-12, that make learning Spanish fun and engaging. Visit the rest of our website to learn more, and sign up for a free trial class today!

Watching TV isn’t usually an educational activity for kids. But when you pair it with language learning, it definitely can be! That’s because foreign language TV shows and cartoons are a great way for kids to pick up basic vocabulary, correct pronunciation, and more. 

If your child is learning Spanish, we’re sure they’ll enjoy at least one of the 12 kids’ TV shows in Spanish included in this blog post! All of these shows are also available online either for free or through a paid streaming service.

Keep reading for more information on each show, including where you can find the show online. Be sure to also check out our tips at the end of the article for more ways to help your child learn Spanish and how to get a free online Spanish lesson for kids!

12 Spanish TV Shows for Kids

#1 Pocoyó

Pocoyó is a lovable and curious little toddler who loves to explore the world around him. He’s joined by his friends Pato (a duck), Loula (a little girl), and YoYo (an energetic yellow ball). Together, they have all sorts of adventures and Pocoyó always manages to learn something new along the way. This show is great for younger kids who are just starting to learn Spanish. 

Where to watch: Pocoyó is available on Netflix.

#2 Robocar Poli

Robocar Poli is a team of rescue cars that work together to help people and protect their city. They’re always there to lend a helping hand, whether it’s rescuing a kitten from a tree or catching a thief. This show is best for children who can already understand some Spanish. 

Where to watch: Robocar Poli is available on Netflix.

#3 Minimalitos

Minimalitos is a show about a group of animals who like to play games, sing songs, and have fun. The animals all live in the same neighborhood and are always helping each other out. This show is great for preschoolers learning Spanish. 

Where to watch: Minimalitos is available on Amazon Prime.

#4 Peppa la cerdita

Peppa la cerdita is the Spanish version of the popular British show, Peppa Pig. The show is about a family of pigs who go on adventures and learn life lessons along the way. This show is great for little children and will help them learn Spanish through music and lots of repetition. 

Where to watch: Peppa la cerdita is available on YouTube.

#5 Bob Esponja

“Bob Esponja” is the Spanish version of the popular American show, “Spongebob Squarepants”. The show is set in an underwater city and follows the adventures of Spongebob, a sea sponge, and his friends. 

The show may use advanced vocabulary. However, if your child is already familiar with the English-language version, you can change the language settings to Spanish and turn on the subtitles. 

Where to watch: Bob Esponja is available on Netflix.

#6 Muzzy

Muzzy is a show created by the BBC specifically to help kids learn Spanish (or French, German, Italian, or Japanese). The show follows the adventures of Muzzy, a friendly alien, and his friends. Each episode is packed with vocabulary, grammar, and cultural lessons.

Where to watch: Muzzy in Spanish is available on BBC.

#7 Oh, Noah!

Oh, Noah! is a TV show and online game about a 12-year-old boy who learns Spanish every day while staying with his grandma in Mexico. This show is entertaining and great for showing kids the benefits of learning a second language. The interactive game component is also a great way for kids to practice what they learn while watching the show.

Where to watch: Oh Noah! is available on PBS Kids.

#8 Plaza Sésamo

Plaza Sésamo is the Spanish-language version of Sesame Street. It’s a classic show that has been around for decades and is beloved by kids and adults alike. As you may remember from your childhood, this show teaches kids about numbers, the alphabet, and basic life skills.

Where to watch: Plaza Sésamo is available on Amazon Prime Video.

#9 Dora la Exploradora

Dora la Exploradora is a show about a young girl who goes on adventures with her monkey friend, Boots. Both the Spanish-version and English-version, Dora the Explorer, are great for teaching kids basic Spanish. The show teaches words and phrases through songs and simple games. 

Where to watch: Dora la Exploradora is available on Amazon Prime Video.

#10 Go, Diego, Go!

Diego is a little boy who goes on adventures to help animals. Like his cousin, Dora the Explorer, Diego teaches kids Spanish words and phrases during his adventures. This show is great for little kids who are just starting to learn Spanish.

Where to watch: Go, Diego, Do! is available on Amazon Prime Video.

#11 Caillou

The original version of Caillou is in French, but there is a Spanish version available. Caillou is a little boy who goes on adventures with his family and friends. Your kids will need to already know some Spanish to understand this show, but they will also pick up new words and phrases.

Where to watch: Caillou in Spanish is available on YouTube.

#12 CoComelon en Español

This show is originally in English, but there is a Spanish version available. CoComelon is an animated cartoon about a little boy named JJ and his friends. The show teaches kids numbers, colors, shapes, and simple words in Spanish. It’s best for younger kids who are Spanish-language beginners. 

Where to watch: CoComelon is available on Netflix.

Pros and Cons of Learning Spanish from TV Shows

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using TV shows and cartoons to help children learn Spanish. Here are the major pros and cons:

Pros

  • TV shows and cartoons can be very entertaining and engaging for kids. This means your kids may enjoy passively learning and practicing Spanish from TV shows even at times when they’re not motivated for more formal language learning activities. 
  • These shows are a good way to expose children to the Spanish language in a low-pressure environment. They get to watch the shows wherever they’re comfortable, and there’s no pressure for them to speak or do activities in the language. 
  • TV shows in Spanish are great for learning new vocabulary, correct pronunciation, and basic grammar structures. Kids get to hear Spanish spoken in authentic ways and often these shows have a lot of repetition, which makes it easy to pick up some basic Spanish. 

Cons

  • These TV programs are often not designed specifically for language learning. This means that they might move too quickly for beginners or use vocabulary that is too advanced.
  • TV shows and cartoons don’t usually provide any opportunity for speaking practice or interaction. This means that they might not be the best resource for learning how to actually speak Spanish.

Other Ways to Help Your Child Learn Spanish 

If your goal is to raise a bilingual child who can speak English and Spanish fluently, you can’t rely solely on TV shows and cartoons! You’ll need to supplement them with other resources. 

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Buy or rent Spanish-language learning materials specifically designed for kids, such as books in Spanish, flashcards, and games.
  • Find Spanish-speaking friends or family members who can help your child practice.
  • Enroll your child in Spanish-language classes that give your child opportunities to speak and experience Spanish immersion
  • Take a trip to a Spanish-speaking country. This will give your child a chance to hear and practice the language in a real-world setting.

For more ideas, check out our blog post on how to learn Spanish as a family!

Final Thoughts

While TV shows can be a helpful resource for kids learning Spanish, they shouldn’t be the only tool used. To give your child the best shot at becoming bilingual, be sure to supplement TV time with other activities, such as books, flashcards, games, or language classes.
At Bilingual Bebe, we have online classes, for children ages 3-12, that make learning Spanish fun and engaging. Visit the rest of our website to learn more, and sign up for a free trial class today!

Want to immerse your kids in Spanish? Good idea! Spanish immersion programs are one of the most effective ways to help children start speaking Spanish quickly and naturally. But, depending on where you live, immersion programs aren’t always easy to find and you may need to get creative to immerse your kids in Spanish at home.

Is immersion at home possible if you, the parent, don’t speak Spanish fluently? Absolutely! It just requires a bit of effort and creativity.

In this blog post, we’re here to help by providing nine fun ways to immerse your child in Spanish at home. We’ll also share information on how you can get a free trial lesson of online Spanish language classes for your kids with Bilingual Bebe.

Let’s get started by first discussing what makes immersion programs a fantastic way for kids to learn a new language!

What Is Spanish Immersion?

Spanish immersion is a method of learning Spanish through real-life experiences and interactions. When immersed, students are in an environment where they can naturally use the language to communicate with others.

Research shows that kids exposed to Spanish in an immersive environment have better pronunciation, improved vocabulary, and greater confidence when speaking the language. Immersion programs also allow students to develop a deeper understanding of the culture and customs of Spanish-speaking countries.

So, how do you immerse your child in Spanish? Here are some examples:

  • Spanish immersion schools – Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a school that offers bilingual Spanish-English instruction. 
  • Online Spanish classes – If you don’t live near an immersion school, there are online programs that help to immerse your child in Spanish through regular online classes.
  • Study abroad programs – If you have the financial means to travel to a Spanish-speaking country with your child to study the language, this can be a great way to help foster authentic Spanish-language immersion.
  • Bilingual household – If you or someone in your household speaks Spanish fluently, you or that person can speak to your child exclusively in Spanish. This is also one of the easiest ways for children to quickly begin to speak Spanish.
  • Spanish-friendly household – Even if no one in your household speaks Spanish fluently, you can still create an immersive environment for your child to pick up the language. The tips below will show you how! 

9 Ways to Achieve Spanish Immersion at Home

Even if no one in your house is a native Spanish speaker, there are still ways that you can achieve Spanish immersion at home and raise bilingual children! Here are nine fun ways for you to try.

#1 Encourage Spanish conversation at home

If you are a Spanish speaker, great! You can start speaking with your child in Spanish right away. Even if you didn’t do this when your child was first learning to talk, it’s never too late. The best time to learn a language like a native speaker is between the ages of  0-10.

If you’re not a Spanish speaker, don’t worry. Even with just a few simple phrases, like  “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?), “¿Qué tal?” (What’s up?), or “¿Dónde está…?” (Where is…?), you can start encouraging short Spanish conversations with your kids throughout the day.

#2 Watch Spanish-language TV shows and movies

A great way to immerse your kids in Spanish is to let them watch Spanish-language TV shows and movies. There are many great Spanish-language shows and movies for kids that you can find on TV, on paid streaming services like Netflix, or for free on YouTube.

#3 Listen to music in Spanish

Listening to Spanish-language music is a great way for kids to learn new vocabulary and improve their pronunciation. You can find Spanish-language music on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music. You can also listen to Spanish-language radio stations online.

#4 Read books in Spanish

Reading books in Spanish is a great way to immerse your kids in Spanish at home and bond with them at the same time. There are many great Spanish-language books for kids, like Necesito un abrazo, ¡Qué cosas dice mi abuela!, and El monstruo de colores. For more book recommendations, check out our blog post on The Best Spanish Children’s Books for 3-12 Year Olds!

#5 Label household items in Spanish using sticky notes

Labeling common household items in Spanish using sticky notes is a great way to help your kids learn and remember Spanish vocabulary for everyday objects. Plus, it’s a fun way to get everyone in the family involved in learning Spanish!

You can even make a game out of it by seeing who can label the most items in Spanish. To give you a head start, here are a few common household items you can label along with their Spanish translation:

  • la puerta (door)
  • la ventana (window)
  • el sofá (couch)
  • la mesa (table)
  • la silla (chair)
  • el plato (plate)
  • el vaso (glass)
  • la taza (cup)
  • el teléfono (telephone)
  • el ordenador (computer)

#6 Play board games and video games in Spanish

Family game night can be a great opportunity for the whole family to practice Spanish! Many popular games like Monopoly, Scrabble, and Candyland have Spanish versions that you can purchase. You can also find other Spanish-language games and video games online.

There are also many language learning apps that you can download onto your phone or tablet that have games, puzzles, and other activities to help your kids learn Spanish.

#7 Change the language settings on electronic devices

Another great way to immerse your kids in Spanish at home is by changing the language settings on electronic devices like phones, computers, and tablets. This will help your kids to see Spanish words and phrases more often, and they may start to pick up on some useful vocabulary.

#8 Sign up for online Spanish language classes

Spanish immersion schools are not the only way to immerse your kids in Spanish. You can create a virtual immersive environment in your home by signing your child up for online Spanish language classes

These classes often include games and activities that will help your kids learn Spanish. When looking for online Spanish classes, make sure to find ones that are specifically designed for kids. 

#9 Start a new family hobby or project in Spanish 

Do you want to learn Spanish as a family? Start a new family hobby or project in Spanish! This is a great way to immerse everyone in Spanish and have some fun while bonding together as a family.

Your hobby or project could be something as simple as starting a garden where you only use Spanish names for the plants, forming a Spanish-language book club, volunteering in a Spanish-speaking community, or cooking a Latin American dish together once a week. No matter what you choose to do, the important thing is that everyone involved commits to using Spanish as much as possible.

Want Help Achieving Spanish Immersion at Home?

Spanish immersion at home doesn’t have to be difficult. Following the tips we’ve shared in this blog post, it can also be a lot of fun for the whole family! And if you need some help, online language classes are one of the best ways to get started.At Bilingual Bebe, we have online classes, for children ages 3-12, that make learning Spanish fun and engaging. Visit the rest of our website to learn more, and sign up for a free trial class today!

As a parent, you want the best for your kids. You want them to be successful in life. And you know that starts with teaching them the right skills. Well, then you’re going to want to make sure they’re developing a strong set of soft skills! Why?  

In this blog post, we’re going to tell you as we discuss: 

  • Why soft skills are important to learn during early childhood
  • 12 of the most essential soft skills for kids
  • Ideas on how you can help your kids develop those essential skills  
  • Why learning a foreign language is a great way for kids to build and improve soft skills

Let’s get started! 

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are the personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with others. They are also sometimes referred to as people skills, social skills, or interpersonal skills.

In contrast to technical or hard skills, soft skills can sometimes be difficult to quantify. They are often associated with a person’s personality, and they can be harder to teach than hard skills.

What Age Do You Start Learning Soft Skills?

According to research on child development, the best time to learn soft skills is during early childhood, when social interactions are more frequent through play and group learning. It’s also when children are most adept and open to learning new things.

Why Are Soft Skills Important?

Soft skills help children communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and understand and empathize with others. They are essential for both personal and professional success. 

Soft skills also make it easier to learn and acquire technical skills, like coding, mathematics, and the physical sciences. Why? Because truly mastering and applying technical skills often requires soft skills like problem-solving, grit, and collaboration.

While certain soft skills come easy to some kids, others kids need a little more help to develop them. Which ones should you teach your children? Let’s take a look! 

12 Essential Soft Skills for Kids

Here are 12 of the most essential soft skills for children and tips on how to help your child better develop each one.

#1 Communication Skills

Communication involves both verbal and nonverbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice. It’s the ability to share information with others clearly and effectively. And, whether it be in the classroom, on the playground, or at home, your child must know how to effectively express their needs and wants as well as to listen to and understand others.

To help your child develop communication skills, encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings openly. Model good communication yourself by being an active listener and using clear and concise language.

#2 Teamwork

Being able to work well with others is another important soft skill for kids. When children know how to cooperate and collaborate with their peers, they have a better chance of succeeding both academically and socially.

There are a few ways you can help your child develop teamwork skills. One is to encourage them to participate in group activities, such as sports or clubs. You can also model teamwork yourself by working on projects with your child or involving them in family chores.

#3 Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It’s an important soft skill for kids to learn because it can help them relate to and better understand the people around them.

Teaching your children empathy can be as simple as talking to them about their feelings and the feelings of others. You can also encourage them to put themselves in someone else’s shoes by asking them how they would feel in various situations.  

Reading books and watching movies together can also be a great way to teach empathy, as you can discuss the characters’ feelings and experiences afterward.

#4 Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make judgments based on logical reasoning. It’s an important soft skill for kids to learn because it helps them think independently and make sound decisions.

There are several ways you can encourage critical thinking in your child. Asking them questions that don’t have simple yes or no answers is a good way to get them to think critically.

Encouraging your child to question everything they hear and read, and not take anything at face value, is another great way to foster critical thinking skills. Depending on their age, you can also help them learn how to research information for themselves so that they can form their own opinions on the world around them.

#5 Problem-Solving

Your child will encounter a multitude of problems daily. Do they know the best way to approach solving them? By teaching them how to identify and solve problems, you’re giving them valuable skills that will serve them well throughout their life.

To help your child improve their problem-solving skills, encourage them to brainstorm solutions to problems they encounter, and praise them when they come up with a creative solution. Activities like puzzles and brainteasers are also great for teaching problem-solving skills.

#6 Leadership

Leaders inspire and motivate others to achieve a common goal – both valuable abilities in academic, social, and professional settings. 

If your child is a natural leader, encourage them to take on leadership roles in their school or community. Help them learn how to develop a vision for what they want to achieve, and then create a plan to turn that vision into reality. Also praise them when they show qualities of a good leader, such as being fair, responsible, and respectful.

If your child tends to shy away from leadership roles, that’s okay, too. There are still plenty of opportunities for them to practice their leadership skills. For example, they can be a leader in their own household by helping with chores or taking care of younger siblings.

#7 Work Ethic

It’s important to teach kids the value of hard work and a good work ethic. This is one soft skill that will benefit them throughout their entire lives because it applies to any and every situation.

There are a few ways to instill a strong work ethic in kids. One is to lead by example – let them see you working hard and explain to them why it’s important. You can also give them age-appropriate chores to do around the house and praise them when they do a good job.  Finally, you can instill a sense of pride in their work by teaching them to always do their best and strive for excellence.

#8 Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed with effort and practice. This is in contrast to a fixed mindset, which is the belief that intelligence and abilities are static and cannot be changed.

Teaching kids a growth mindset has many benefits, including better academic performance, higher self-esteem, and more resilience in the face of setbacks.  It also helps them to see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than as a personal deficiency.

There are many ways you can foster a growth mindset in your child. You can praise them for their effort and persistence, rather than their intelligence or natural ability. You can also encourage them to try new things, even if they are afraid of failing.

#9 Cultural Awareness

In our increasingly connected world, it’s more important than ever for kids to be aware of and respectful of other cultures. This doesn’t mean that they have to agree with or learn everything about other cultures, but it does mean that they should be open-minded about different ways of life.

One way you can encourage your child to be more culturally aware is by exposing them to a variety of cultures through foreign language study, travel, books, movies, and music. You can also teach them about your own cultural heritage and traditions.

#10 Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of and understand your own emotions and the emotions of others. It’s about being able to regulate your emotions, respond effectively to emotions in others, and create positive relationships.

Some ways you can help your child develop emotional intelligence are by teaching them how to label their emotions, helping them understand the emotions of others, and modeling emotional intelligence yourself. You can also encourage them how to manage stress in healthy ways.

#11 Time Management

Time management is the ability to use your time efficiently and effectively. It’s about being able to set priorities, make a schedule, and stick to it. And we’re sure you know how it helps kids with things like homework, getting ready for school in the morning, and keeping up with extracurricular activities.

Some ways you can help your child develop time management skills are by teaching them how to make a schedule and use a planner. You can also help them develop these skills with activities like cooking dinner together, planning small events, and working on other projects with set deadlines.

#12 Focus and Concentration

Being able to focus and concentrate is, unfortunately, an increasingly rare skill for kids and adults. It’s essential kids learn these soft skills early so they can excel in school, extracurricular activities, and their future careers.  

Some ways you can help your child develop focus and concentration skills are by teaching them how to break down tasks into smaller goals and helping them find a quiet place to do homework. You can also help them learn how to eliminate distractions, set priorities, and focus on one task at a time.

How Learning a Foreign Language Helps Kids Learn Soft Skills

Did you know that learning a foreign language can help kids develop strong soft skills? When kids learn a foreign language, they are exposed to new cultures and perspectives. This helps them develop empathy, cultural awareness, and communication skills to effectively interact with people from different backgrounds.

In addition, bilingual children often develop strong problem-solving skills by creatively discovering new ways to communicate ideas. Lastly, learning a foreign language is one of the best ways to develop a strong work ethic and growth mindset. All language learners start with little ability to speak or understand the language but gradually improve with practice and persistence.

If you’re considering enrolling your child in a foreign language class, look for one with a curriculum that focuses on conversation and cultural immersion. At Bilingual Bebe, we’ve found that this type of language curriculum helps children get the most out of the experience and develop important soft skills that they can use for the rest of their life.

Final Thoughts

Helping your child to attain soft skills is one of the best things parents can do. These life skills will help children in school, in their future careers, and personal lives. And early childhood is the best time for your children to learn these skills! 

For a fun, engaging, and educational way to help your child develop soft skills, consider signing them up for foreign language classes. If your child is between the ages of 3-12, you can enroll them in classes at Bilingual Bebe to learn English, Spanish, or French and get the first lesson for free

Learning Spanish as a family can be an excellent way for your family to have some fun, promote intercultural understanding, and enjoy the benefits of learning a second language

When you start your language learning journey, it’s important to find the methods that work best for your family. And this blog post will help you out!

Below, we offer advice on how to approach learning Spanish at home with your kids. We also share a list of our favorite free and paid activities to learn Spanish. We at Bilingual Bebe use many of these methods when teaching our online language classes for kids. We’re confident that they’ll work for your family as you begin to learn Spanish.  

Let’s get started!

Understanding How Kids Best Learn New Languages

Before we get into the activities and resources, let’s understand how kids learn languages. Studies have shown that kids are more likely to pick up a second language when exposed to it at a young age because this is when children’s brains are the most cognitively flexible. 

However, this does not mean they’ll pick up a new language no matter what you do! You still need to make learning Spanish as a family a fun, enjoyable, and productive experience. Here are a few quick tips: 

Make it fun

If learning Spanish is seen as a chore, your kids are less likely to be motivated. But if they see it as fun, they’ll likely stick with it longer. That means ditching boring textbooks. Instead, opt for games, songs, and other activities that make learning Spanish enjoyable.

Set realistic goals

Don’t try to tackle too much at once. Start with simple goals, such as learning basic vocabulary or being able to hold a simple conversation in Spanish. Once you and your kids have mastered those basics, you can move on to more challenging tasks.

Incorporate Spanish into your daily life

You and your kids will be more likely to remember what you learn if you start using Spanish throughout the day. For example, you could sing songs in Spanish, read Spanish books together, or watch movies in Spanish. 

Be patient and consistent

Learning a new language takes time, so don’t expect you or your kids to become fluent overnight. It’s essential to be patient and consistent in your efforts to help them learn.

Take advantage of free and paid Spanish-language resources

There are many great websites, apps, and learning materials to help your family learn Spanish. Check out some of our favorite free and paid activities and resources below!

Learning Spanish as a Family with Free Activities and Resources

These days, many free online and offline resources can make learning Spanish as a family easy and budget-friendly. Here are some of our favorites.

Free Activities to Learn Spanish Online

Use free language learning apps

Popular language learning apps, like Duolingo, offer interactive games to help you and your kids learn Spanish. The free versions of these apps can be an effective way to learn the basics of Spanish grammar and vocabulary. 

As a family, you can set aside 10-15 minutes each day for everyone to complete a lesson. Then, spend an additional 10-15 minutes practicing what you learned.

Watch Spanish YouTube channels

Spanish-language learning channels on YouTube, like SpanishPod101, offer lessons for all levels. You can find videos on specific grammar topics or everyday conversation skills.

And since these YouTube channels are free, you can watch the videos until you feel comfortable with the material. You can watch a video together and then discuss what you learned.

Listen to music in Spanish

You and your family probably won’t learn how to speak simply from listening to music in Spanish, but it is an excellent way to get exposed to the language. Try finding songs appropriate for your children’s age group and interests. 

As you listen to the music, point out words and phrases you recognize. You can also look up the lyrics online to follow along and sing together.

Free Activities to Learn Spanish Offline

Check out Spanish language books and resources from the library

Your local library likely has a section of books in Spanish that you can check out and read together as a family. For younger kids, we recommend one or more of these popular Spanish children’s books

To make reading an active learning experience, discuss the book, translate common words, and attempt retelling the story in your own words. At the library, you may also find other free resources, like flashcards, movies, and learning games.

Volunteer in Spanish

Another great way to learn Spanish for free is by volunteering in your local community. You can look for organizations that need help from bilingual volunteers. This activity could be a great way to practice Spanish and give back to your community. You can check out VolunteerMatch to see if there are any bilingual volunteer opportunities near you. 

Go to Spanish-language meetups

Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a Spanish-language meetup group. This activity is a great way to meet other people learning Spanish and practice your Spanish skills in a casual setting.

Check out the MeetUp App to see if there are any Spanish language groups in your area. If not, consider starting one!

Talk to native Spanish-speaking members of your community

Is there anyone in your neighborhood who speaks Spanish? If so, you can ask them if they would be willing to help you and your family learn the language. This activity is a great way to get one-on-one help and practice speaking Spanish with a native speaker.

Play free Spanish language games

Your family can play many free Spanish learning games with minimal materials. A quick Google search will reveal several options, such as Hangman to practice common vocabulary or memory games to help with learning grammar. These games can be a fun way to learn the language and can be played during a family game night.

Learning Spanish as a Family with Paid Activities and Resources

There are so many advantages to raising bilingual children that you may find it helpful to think of learning Spanish as an investment. We definitely think of it that way!

So, here are a few of our favorite paid online and offline activities to help you and your family learn Spanish together.

Paid Activities to Learn Spanish Online

Purchase paid subscriptions for language learning apps

As we mentioned, many language learning apps, like Duolingo, have free versions. However, you may find some benefits to getting a paid subscription. For example, with a paid subscription, you can get more lessons, features, and a custom learning experience for your family. 

Make these apps an active learning experience, by setting goals and practicing what you learn in the lessons together.

Stream Spanish-language movies and shows

With a subscription to an online streaming service like Netflix, your family has a wealth of Spanish-language content. You can watch shows and movies together and then discuss them afterward. This activity is a great way to learn about other cultures while also practicing your Spanish listening and speaking skills. 

Sign up for online Spanish classes

If you want a more structured learning experience, find an online Spanish course. However, you may find it difficult to find a class that caters to families learning Spanish together.

You’ll likely have an easier time finding online Spanish classes for adults and online Spanish classes for kids. Either way, if everyone in your family takes classes, you can regularly discuss what you’re learning and practice speaking Spanish at home.

Paid Activities to Learn Spanish Offline 

Buy books, games, and learning materials in Spanish

If you want to start your home collection of Spanish-language resources, you can order many games, learning materials, and children’s books in Spanish on websites like Amazon. By owning these resources, you and your family can use them to practice your Spanish skills whenever you have some free time.

Travel to a Spanish-speaking country

The best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it! You can do this by traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or living in one for a short time. Although this will make learning Spanish easier, it’s not always feasible for families due to time and money constraints.

Eat at Spanish and Latin American restaurants

One way to make learning Spanish fun for the whole family is to eat at Spanish and Latin American restaurants. These restaurants will expose your kids to the language and culture in a relaxed setting. Plus, it’s a great way to try new foods!

Make this an opportunity for your family to practice speaking Spanish by doing things like ordering in Spanish and asking your server questions about the dishes.

Attend in-person Spanish language classes

You can also consider signing up for in-person Spanish classes if you want your kids to be around other Spanish learners their age and have the opportunity to practice with a native speaker.

Of course, this option only works if you can find Spanish classes in your area and on a suitable schedule. If not, your best option may still be online Spanish classes that are easier to plan around you and your family’s schedule.

Final Thoughts

With a little effort, learning to speak Spanish as a family can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved! Use the tips and resources in this blog post to get your family started learning Spanish today.

And, if you’re looking for online Spanish classes for kids, check out Bilingual Bebe! Our online classes are suitable for children ages 3-12 and make learning Spanish fun and engaging. Visit the rest of our website to learn more, and sign up for a free trial class today

Want to help your child learn how to speak Spanish? Then it’s time to add some Spanish children’s books to your home book collection!

Of course, there are lots of children’s books in Spanish for you to choose from. To help you choose the best ones, in this blog post, we at Bilingual Bebe will share some of our Spanish teachers’ favorite picks that are perfect for children aged 3-12!

Not only are these books fun, but they also teach children about Spanish culture and language in a playful and memorable way. We’ll also give you some tips on how to use books as a tool for learning Spanish, as well as other effective ways to help your child learn the language.

¡Vamos!

10 of the Best Children’s Books in Spanish 

When it comes to choosing Spanish children’s books, there are a few things to keep in mind. To keep your child engaged and excited to read, the books should be age-appropriate, have simple text, and contain bright illustrations. 

With these criteria in mind, here are a few recommendations from the Spanish teachers at Bilingual Bebe! 

#1 Está BIEN ser diferente

One of our top picks is the award-winning Está BIEN ser diferente by Sharon Purtill. This book teaches children that it is okay to be different and that everyone has something special about them. This is an important message for all children, but particularly for many bilingual children who are growing up in diverse environments.

Buy the book here.

#2 Necesito un abrazo

Another great choice is Necesito un abrazo by Aaron Blabey. This book is about a little porcupine who is feeling sad and needs a hug. Yet, when he tries to find someone to give him a hug, almost no other animals will do it because of his spikes. This is a sweet book that will teach kids the importance of giving and receiving hugs.

Buy the book here. 

#3 Los tres cerditos

For something familiar to parents, “Los tres cerditos” by Nina Filipek and Katherine Kirkland is a delightful retelling of the classic fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs. This story features three adorable piglets who must outwit a hungry wolf to stay safe. With its simple text and charming illustrations, this book is perfect for beginning Spanish learners.

Buy the book here. 

#4 ¡Qué cosas dice mi abuela!

Another great children’s book in Spanish is ¡Qué cosas dice mi abuela! by Ana Galán. This book is all about the things that grandmothers say. It includes many common expressions that are used in daily conversation in Spanish. The illustrations are very cute and will appeal to young children.

Buy the book here.

#5 El pastel está tan arriba!

El pastel está tan arriba! by Susanne Straber is a hilarious book that will have your child laughing out loud. It’s about a cake that is so high up that no one can reach it. However, with a little ingenuity and teamwork, some greedy animals just might be able to get their hands on a slice.

Buy the book here. 

#6 Me gusta como soy

Another one of our favorites is Me gusta como soy by Karen Beaumont is a great English-Spanish bilingual book for teaching kids to love and accept themselves just the way they are. It has a positive message and vibrant illustrations that will stay with your child long after they finish reading it.

Buy the book here. 

#7 Zapatos nuevos

Zapatos nuevos by Neus Moya Arasa and Júlia Solans is a tale of a little girl who gets new shoes. But when she wears them to school, she quickly learns that they are not as comfortable as she thought. 

Buy the book here.

#8 Dragones y tacos

Dragones y tacos by Adam Rubin is a book about dragons who love to eat all kinds of tacos. The dragons must decide how many tacos to bring to a party. This is a fun and silly book that kids will love.

Buy the book here.

#9 Adoptar un dinosaurio 

Adoptar un dinosaurio by José Carlos Andrés is a heartwarming story about a girl who adopts a dinosaur as a pet. When she brings her new pet home, she quickly realizes that taking care of a dinosaur is not as easy as she thought it would be.

Buy the book here. 

#10 El monstruo de colores

El Monstruo de colores by Anna Llenas Serra is a fun book that teaches kids about emotions. The monster in the story is so afraid of feeling sad that he tries to avoid all the other emotions too. But he soon learns that it’s okay to feel all kinds of emotions and that they can even be a little bit fun.

Buy the book here.

How to Use Books to Help Your Child Learn Spanish 

Will your child learn how to speak and understand Spanish just from reading Spanish children’s books? Probably not! You have to make reading a more active language learning activity for these books to help your child learn Spanish. 

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of reading Spanish books with your child: 

  • Read the book together and take turns reading each page. 
  • Talk about the story as you read and ask your child questions about what they see in the pictures. 
  • Encourage your child to read the book on their own and ask them questions about the story afterward. 
  • Use the book as a starting point for other activities such as arts and crafts, cooking or visits to places mentioned in the story. 

Other Ways to Help Your Child Learn Spanish

In addition to reading books, there are many other ways you can help your child learn Spanish. Here are a few examples:

  • Try singing songs and nursery rhymes in Spanish together. 
  • Watch children’s shows and movies in Spanish. 
  • Play games and do activities in Spanish. 
  • Find native Spanish speakers who can play and talk with your child. 
  • Enroll your child in Spanish language classes. 

Want to know a secret? The best way to help your child learn Spanish is a combination of all those methods! And that’s precisely what we do in our online Spanish classes for kids at Bilingual Bebe. Our certified Spanish language teachers can help make sure your efforts to raise a bilingual child are a success!

Want to give it a try? Sign up for a trial to get your child’s first online Spanish class for free! 

If you are looking for a comprehensive language learning app to learn French, Babbel may be a great option. The app’s French courses offer a wide range of topics and activities, making Babbel a well-rounded learning resource. It’s also one of the most popular and highly-rated language apps currently on the market.

BUT…Is it an effective, worthwhile resource for children learning French? Well, that depends on where your child is at in his or her language learning journey.

In this Babbel French review, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of using Babbel to learn French, specifically evaluating it from a child’s perspective. That way, you can decide if Babbel is the right learning resource for your child. 

We’ll also share some other ideas of other things you can do (instead of or in addition to Babbel) that will help your child become bilingual in French.

Let’s get started with some common questions about Babbel before getting into those pros and cons.

What Is Babbel?

Babbel is a popular language learning app that offers lessons in 14 languages, including French. According to Babbel, over 10 million people have tried “The Babbel Method” for learning languages that the company says will have users “speaking in as little as three weeks.”

How Does Babbel Work?

The Babbel French lessons are designed to be short and quick, covering grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and more.

Each lesson focuses on a specific topic. For example, the first lesson in the French course, “Bienvenue! Part 1”, teaches users how to greet others, say goodbye, and ask how someone is doing.

The app uses a combination of audio, visuals, and written exercises to help users learn the material. After each lesson, users complete exercises that review what they’ve learned.

For example, in a Babbel French lesson, you’ll first be introduced to a new word or phrase. Next, you’ll see the word in use in a sentence. Then, you’ll hear the word pronounced by a native speaker. Finally, you’ll practice using the word yourself with Babbel’s interactive exercises.

Babbel also offers users additional learning materials in the target language, such as podcasts, magazine articles, videos, and live classes.

How Much Does Babbel Cost?

Babbel offers a free trial with limited content. For the first course of the language you choose to learn, you can access the lessons without paying anything.

To get full access to Babbel’s language courses, you’ll have to sign up for one of the various subscription plans. The cheapest subscription plan is $13.95 per month. You can get a discount on that monthly price if you choose to subscribe for 3, 6, or 12 months. For the 12-month subscription plan, you’ll pay just $6.95 per month.

Babbel French Pros and Cons for Kids

Pros of Babbel French for Kids

#1 Good for learning verb conjugation

Babbel French offers comprehensive lessons on verb conjugation, which is often one of the most difficult aspects of learning French. The app provides clear explanations and plenty of practice opportunities so that children can master this complicated grammar point.

#2 Learn from anywhere

Babbel can be accessed on a variety of devices, including phones, tablets, and computers. This means that children can use the app at home or on the go.

#3 Thematic lessons

The Babbel French lessons are organized around themes, such as food or clothing, which helps to contextualize the vocabulary and grammar concepts. This makes it more likely that children will remember what they have learned.

#4 Live classes

Babbel also offers live classes which are conducted by native speakers. These can be a great way for children to practice their French speaking skills. Although, the classes may not be suitable for very young children as they require a certain amount of attention and focus.

#5 User-friendly app

The Babbel app is very easy to navigate and even young children should be able to use it with little assistance.

#6 Free trial

You can test out Babbel before committing to a subscription and see if your child would actually be interested in using the app.

Cons of Babbel French for Kids

#1 Not specifically designed for children

Some of the French language content on Babbel might be too difficult or not suitable for children. For example, some lessons teach users how to book a hotel room.

#2 Limited opportunities to practice speaking

Although Babbel has live classes with native speakers, they’re limited and not part of the regular course. Those live classes are also only available for subscription members. Even with the live classes, children will not have many opportunities to practice speaking French. 

#3 Few lessons for advanced learners

Babbel is mostly geared towards beginners. So, if your child is already advanced in French, they might not find the app useful.

#4 Somewhat expensive

A month-long subscription to Babbel costs $13.95. The monthly packages are cheaper. However, the price can be a wasted cost if your child only uses the app occasionally.

#5 Requires self-discipline

Babbel is not an organized classroom, so your child will need to be disciplined enough to use it on their own. This can be difficult for some children, especially younger ones.

Will Your Child Become Fluent in French Using Babbel?

Probably not. However, if they are just starting to learn the language, Babbel is a decent resource that can help them get started. Just be aware of its limitations and make sure to supplement Babbel with other resources.

Other Ways to Help Your Child Learn French

In addition to language learning apps like Babbel, consider supplementing your child’s French education with additional resources, such as:

Final Thoughts

There is no denying that Babbel is a great resource for learning French, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best resource for your child. If you are considering using Babbel to help your child learn French, we recommend using the free trial first to see if it’s a good fit.

Make sure to also supplement Babbel with other language learning resources to really help your child become bilingual. One of the best things you can do is sign them up for online French language classes with Bilingual Bebe!

All of our classes are taught by native-speaking French teachers and are perfect for kids, aged 3-12 years old. You can even sign up for a trial to get the first lesson free!

The easiest language to learn depends entirely on an individual’s native language. For English speakers, Germanic languages are often easier to learn. Whereas, for native French speakers, other romance languages, such as Spanish or Italian are easiest.

The ease of learning a new native language depends on the individuals first language.

No matter where you go in the world, we find people with at least one thing in common: we all speak some form of oral language that allows us to communicate our thoughts, wants, and desires with those around us.

On the other hand, the difference between everyone is that we all speak different languages.

Even within the same language, dialects, accents, and words are often pronounced differently.

In total, it’s estimated that there are approximately 7,151 language dialects worldwide.

But this number is likely to be considerably higher when you factor in the different accents of these languages. After all, in the English language alone, there are over 160 dialects spoken in varying regions of the world.

So that leaves us wondering, what is the most straightforward language to learn? Is it easier for some native speakers to learn a foreign language compared to other native speakers learning that same language?

Below, you’ll find everything about the easiest languages to learn and which are the easiest for English, French, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese native speakers to learn as a second language.

How To Define The Easiest Languages To Learn

I know you want to know about the easiest language to learn. But this question isn’t as easy to answer as you might think.

While some foreign languages might be easier to learn, the fact is that all languages have their advantages and disadvantages when learning, mainly dependent on what language an individual speaks as their first.

For instance, Norwegian and other Scandinavian languages are relatively easy for a native English speaker to learn because of their similarities to English. 

But these languages are vastly different from French or Spanish.

On the other hand, some languages are more challenging to learn.

Although it is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, Mandarin Chinese has thousands of special characters in its alphabet. Compare this to only twenty-six letters in the Latin alphabet, and it’s easy to see why Mandarin is harder to learn.

But just because Mandarin is challenging doesn’t mean it’s the most complex language to learn. For instance, those with excellent visual memories might find memorizing Mandarin symbols relatively easy compared to learning the sounds and accents of the French language.

So how can we define which languages are easy to learn and which are hard? 

Let’s start by looking at the easiest languages to learn as a first language. Then, we’ll dive into the easiest second languages to learn for English, French, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese native speakers.

The Easiest First Languages To Learn

Many factors can influence how easy it will be for a child to learn their first language.

However, one of the most significant factors is the exposure the child gets to their new language.

When a child is fully immersed in a language environment, it becomes natural to associate the words and sounds they hear with the objects in their immediate environment.

Therefore, there isn’t any one language that’s easier to learn than another.

Instead, as long as a child is given sufficient exposure within the critical period for language acquisition, it should be relatively easy for them to acquire the language. 

To illustrate this, imagine a child raised in America mainly exposed to American English. This American child will find learning English just as easy as a child raised in China exposed primarily to the Mandarin language.

Alternately, a child raised in France will learn French just as easily as a child learning Spanish when raised in Spain.

However, due to their having similar roots to a first language, some languages can be easier to learn as a second or third language.

Let’s take a better look!

The Easiest Second Languages For English Speakers

Fortunately, most common languages today are based on the Latin alphabet, consisting of no more than 26 characters.

Within these languages with Latin roots, the Germanic languages are some of the most widely spoken worldwide.

Some of the most prevalent West Germanic languages are English, German, Dutch, Frisian, Afrikaans, Yiddish, and Scots, which are closely related by their alphabets and phonetics.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to learn that any of these languages should be relatively easy for native English speakers to learn and understand.

Look at the following sentences, and you’ll quickly see how similar these languages are.

  • My name is Joel. (English)
  • Mijn naam is Joel. (Dutch)
  • Mine Name ist Joel. (German)
  • My naam is Joel. (Afrikaans)

As you can see, each Germanic language has slightly different pronunciations, but they all have similar sounds and spellings.

Other Easy Languages For Native English Speakers To Learn

  • Norwegian
  • Swedish
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • French
  • Swahili

The Easiest Second Languages For French Speakers

Romance languages are a group of modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the years 200 A.D. and 800 A.D.

In order of prevalence, the five most spoken romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian.

However, even within the romance language family, you’ll find some languages that are more closely related than others.

For instance, Spanish and Italian words are often quite similar in their spelling and phonetics.

On the other hand, French is considered the most divergent romance language since the Germanic languages heavily influenced it. That’s why some 10,000 words in French are almost identical to their English counterparts.

Let’s compare the romance languages side-by-side to understand better how similar they are.

  • Mi nombre es Joel. (Spanish)
  • Meu nome é Joel. (Portuguese)
  • Je m’appelle Joël. (French)
  • Mi chiamo Gioele. (Italian)
  • Numele meu este Joel. (Romanian)

Once again, we see that each romance language is unique, despite having many phonetic similarities to each other.

Other Easy Languages For Native French Speakers To Learn

  • Haitian creole
  • Catalan
  • Occitan
  • Sardinian
  • Galician
  • Valencian

The Easiest Second Languages For Spanish Speakers

Did you know there are more than 500 million Spanish-speaking individuals worldwide, making it the third most spoken language outside of English and Mandarin?

Therefore, if you or your child speaks Spanish as a first language, you’ll have a good chance of being able to communicate almost anywhere you go.

Additionally, since Spanish is one of the most prevalent romance languages, any of the languages mentioned above, such as French, Italian, or Portuguese, should be relatively easy to learn as a second language.

But what other languages are similar and easy to learn for native Spanish speakers?

You might be surprised to learn that Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines, is similar to Spanish in many ways. Many everyday items’ names are virtually identical in Spanish and Tagalog.

For those who are learning Spanish, we can also note that it is a relatively straightforward language to read because it’s considered a phonetic language. In other words, most Spanish words are pronounced exactly how they are spelled.

Does your child need help to learn English, French, or Spanish as a second language?

If so, you should consider enrolling them in an online language learning class (LINK) to help them master their new language.

The Easiest Second Languages For Mandarin Chinese Speakers

As we already know, languages with similar roots are typically the easiest to learn as a second language.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that it’s easiest for a Chinese language speaker to learn other Asian languages.

But what are the easiest languages to learn for someone who is already fluent in Chinese?

Korean, Japanese, and Thai are some of the most similar languages to Chinese.

Let’s look at a few of the similarities between these languages.

  • Korean consists of approximately 60% Chinese words, making it one of the easiest languages to learn for someone who already speaks Mandarin Chinese.
  • The Chinese and Japanese languages share roughly 50% of the same symbols and characters.
  • Both Mandarin Chinese and Thai are time-independent languages, meaning there are no past, present, or future tenses to learn and memorize.

Frequently Asked Questions – The Easiest Language To Learn

Now that we know about the easiest languages to learn, let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our language learners and their parents.

What is the most challenging language to learn?

Despite being one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, Mandarin Chinese is considered one of the most challenging languages to learn for a few reasons. Mandarin requires about 2,200 hours of practice to become fluent. Mandarin also consists of several thousand special characters, making learning and memorizing it difficult.

What is the most spoken language in the world?

English is said to be the most widely spoken language globally, with an estimated 1.5 billion speakers worldwide. Although not all English speakers use it as their first language, approximately 1 in 5 people can understand the English language. STUDIES?RESEARCH

Should I raise my children to be bilingual?

Yes, if you can, you should raise your children as bilinguals! There are plenty of studies to indicate that being bilingual offers many benefits and advantages to developing children. For instance, bilingual children often have better focus, concentration, multi-tasking abilities, and social skills than their monolingual counterparts. LINKSSS

What is the best way to teach my child a second language?

Fortunately, there are many ways you can approach language learning with a young child. There are plenty of bilingual games, apps, and online resources that you can use to introduce a second language (LINKKKK) to your child. However, the best option is to enroll your child in an in-person or online language learning class (LINK) taught by experts.

How long does it take for a child to learn a second language?

The answer depends on the child’s level of exposure, immersion, and how much time they spend learning and practicing their new language. Generally, a child can take between a few months to a few years to learn a second language. But the sooner they start, the sooner they’ll master their new language.

How many languages can one person learn?

There’s no exact limit to how many languages a person can learn. However, as a person cultivates a growing number of languages, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep their languages straight. That said, Ziad Fazah, the current record holder for most languages spoken, claims to speak 59 world languages.

English, French, And Spanish Lessons For Kids In Brooklyn, New York

Whether your child is learning English, French, or Spanish, all three are among some of the most widely spoken and easiest languages to learn.

However, the best way to support your child in their language learning endeavor is to immerse them in a bilingual learning environment.

Here at Bilingual Bebe, based out of Brooklyn, New York, we provide students between the ages of three and twelve a fully immersive and interactive online learning environment, where they’ll learn alongside small groups of other children the same age, and all while having fun!

If you’re interested in starting your child on the path to early bilingualism, feel free to contact Bilingual Bebe today or click here to start your free trial today!

Simple Ways to Learn a Second Language at Home

Get resources and tips to help supplement your bilingual education journey at home.

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