Raising Trilingual Baby: Travel and Language Learning
One of the reasons that I am so committed to teaching my son other languages is because I know that being multilingual will help him communicate and navigate in a world that thanks to technology is becoming increasingly interdependent.
In addition to formal studies in another language, I think it is important to make language learning fun! What better way to do this than to travel? With summer in full swing, it’s important to remember that traveling can help reinforce language skills. I believe there is no better way to learn a language than to immerse in a country where that language is spoken. I believe that is why my brother and I speak Spanish very well (ok, that and the fact that my parents really were relentless in their “Ingles en la escuela, Español en la casa” rule—“English at school, Spanish at home”) Every summer, we went to Ecuador where we not only got to enjoy our family members, but also enrolled in swim lessons, tennis lessons, and even some Spanish tutoring.
Travel and Language Learning: Some Tips
If you’re thinking about traveling for language learning, here are some tips to keep in mind, depending of course on your child’s age.
Take a lot of pictures! Taking a lot of pictures and making photo albums will allow you to go back and talk about the photos you’ve taken, the places you’ve been to, and the people you meet; It’s a great way to reinforce language skills. If your child is old enough, get him, his own camera! It will be interesting to see the trip through his eyes.
Marchés in Aix en Provence, France.
Don’t forget food! Enjoying local food is a way to learn about different cultures, and if you find something you really enjoy, you can make it when you come back home! (But depending where you go, watch out for street vendor food!)
Bread at the marché in Aix en Provence, France
Photo credits: Diana Limongi, all rights reserved.
Bring back artisanal goodies! You can only find in that special place, and food (just don’t piss off Customs!) like favorite snacks and cookies. (We always bring back canned tuna, cookies, chocolate and coffee when we come back from Ecuador. From France we bring back snacks for Enzo… everything else we want to bring back we unfortunately can’t!) And of course, don’t forget this is also the perfect time to stock up on toys and books in another language!
Do you have any other tips? Share them below!!