Free Online Resources for Teaching Your Child a Second Language

I got these links from the BrillKids forum. Unfortunately, I lost the link to the exact post and I can’t seem to find it again (I can’t even remember who wrote them!), but these are some excellent websites with free resources for teaching your child a second language.

Byki

  • free downloadable desktop program that teaches over 70 languages – AfrikaansAlbanianAltaiArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBashkirBelorussianBengaliBosnianBulgarianBuriatChechenChineseCroatianCzechDanishDariDutchEstonianFarsiFinnishFrenchGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHausaHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKazakhKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianLuxembourgishMacedonianMalayMirandeseMongolianNorwegianPashtoPolishPortuguese (Brazil)Portuguese (European)RomanianRussianScottishSerbianSlovakSpanishSwahiliSwedishTagalogTajikiThaiTurkishTurkmenTuvanUkrainianUrduUzbekVietnameseZulu.
  • the free part is limited (you need to upgrade to deluxe to get the full service) but at least you get to try before you buy to see if it works for you.

BBC Languages

  • offers free video and audio courses for French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Portugese, and Chinese.
  • they also have essential phrases for 40 languages which you can print out.

Livemocha

  • this is a free language learning community that offers 38 languages.
  • you need to sign up for an account (but it’s free).

Busuu

  • another free language learning community that offers access to interactive online courses and lessons for English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Russian, French, Polish, and Turkish.
  • you can practice your skills with other native members.
  • they have grammar guides by PONS and Collins.
  • they have mobile apps for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

And if you want to learn Spanish, there is 123 TeachMe. Figured Gavin might be interested in this one after learning a bit of Spanish from They Might Be Giants “I Can Add” from “Here Come the 123s” since he was singing that particular part to my SIL2 and MIL over the weekend.

Although the best time to introduce a second language to your child is in the first year (based on Patricia Kuhl’s research – Babies are Linguistic Geniuses), it is never too late to start trying. As long as you can pique their interest in a subject, for a child, anything is easy if he is interested to learn it. It is never too late for anyone to start trying at any age, but it is easier the younger you are.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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