Supporting language learning at home

Let’s embark on a journey that goes beyond traditional textbooks and classrooms to uncover the secret sauce of language mastery: exposure and meaningful practise. Whether you’re polishing your mother tongue or venturing into the wonders of a second language, the key lies not just in the words but in how they come alive in diverse contexts.

Language is more than just vocabulary and grammar; it’s a living, breathing entity that thrives in real-life situations and any opportunity to use and apply the skills students learn in class, only supports them to develop even further.

Here are some practical tips for how you can support your child:

Younger children

  • Your child will enjoy reversing the roles and teaching you.
  • Ask your child to read a small text, an article, a fairy tale or a page from a novel (in German or the target language) and ask for explanations and clarifications if you don´t understand.
  • Ask your child to help you to communicate with the neighbors, sales people or bus drivers, for example.
  • Read books to your child in your mother tongue, talking about the pictures to increase his/her vocabulary. When the mother tongue is strong, it’s much easier to learn additional languages. .
  • When your child makes a mistake while speaking (in any language), instead of correcting him/her, just repeat what he/she said, in the correct way, confirming that you understood what was said, and at the same time, letting him/her know how to say it correctly.
  • Praise your child when he/she tries to say something in a different language.
  • Ask your child to name some daily objects in the foreign language.
  • Audiobooks are a practical option for a shared language experience, maybe while on a long car journey.
  • Ask your child to help you to read signs in the shops or when you’re going on a journey.

Older children

  • Incorporate Language into Daily Life:
    Integrate the new language into daily routines. Focus on practical language skills, such as ordering food, asking for directions, or even use a recipe book that uses the language.
  • Lead by Example:
    If possible, showcase your own interest in learning a new language. This could be a shared family activity, demonstrating the importance and joy of language acquisition.
  • Language Apps and Online Resources:
    Explore language learning apps and online resources that cater specifically to teenagers. Many platforms offer interactive and engaging lessons suitable for their age group.
  • Celebrate Milestones:
    Acknowledge and celebrate milestones in their language-learning journey. This could be achieving a certain level, successfully completing a challenging lesson, or even holding a basic conversation.
  • Travel and Cultural Immersion:
    Join a celebration or event in the local area.. Immersing themselves in the culture and daily life will significantly enhance their language skills. Engaging in conversations with native speakers enhances language proficiency and cultural understanding.
  • Regular Check-ins:
    Have regular check-ins to discuss their progress, challenges, and goals. This helps in adjusting learning strategies and addressing any concerns they might have
  • Support Self-Study Habits:
    Foster self-study habits by helping them organise their study materials, create a study schedule, and find effective study techniques that suit their learning style.
  • Introduce Multilingual Media:
    Integrate multilingual media into their daily routine. This could include watching movies, TV shows, or listening to music in the target language. Exposure to different accents and colloquial expressions enhances their language skills.

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ISSH International School of Schaffhausen

ISSH International School of Schaffhausen

ISSH is a place where students feel at home away from home. The international day and boarding school is renowned for its family-like atmosphere. It is located in the northern part of Switzerland, 35 minutes from Zurich airport. The ISSH strives to develop young people to their full potential. Lifelong learning, confidence and open-mindedness are not just words but values and attitudes which stay with ISSH students for life and provide a strong foundation for their success. Schaffhausen is a small, safe and charming city with much to offer to students and their families.

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