Singing in a second language 

By Raising Children Network January 23, 2024 11:37 pm

Singing is a fun way to help your child learn and remember words and sentence structure in a second language. 

When your child sings songs with repeated words or choruses, they get a lot of practice with new words and sentence structures. This helps your child remember these new words. 

Songs with a cultural or personal significance – for example, songs passed down in your family – can have extra meaning for your child. 

Choose a simple song in a language that isn’t your child’s first language. 

If you don’t know any good songs, you could look for CDs and DVDs at your public library, or search online. 

Here are some ideas to get you singing with your child: 

  • Choose songs with hand movements, or make up some movements. Hand movements help your child remember what the song means, even if they don’t understand all the words. 
  • Sing the song to your child. Don’t worry about what you sound like. Your child will love the sound of your voice, even if you’re off-key. 
  • Choose songs your child already knows in their first language, like ‘Happy birthday’. 
  • Put plenty of expression into your voice and face as you sing. 

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