How Do I Teach My Child a Language If I Am Monolingual?


Are you ready to help your child learn a new language? Fantastic! Guiding your child during this amazing journey is one of the best gifts you can offer. But if you are among the many monolingual parents out there, you might be wondering: How can I teach my child a new language I don’t speak? Don’t stress! You don’t actually have to teach the language, just provide the right tools to help your child progress. Take a look at our tips!

Let’s learn together! One of the greatest things you can do to support your child’s language learning is…participate! Ask your child to teach you a few new words or simple phrases everyday (“Time to eat!”, “Time for Pili Pop!”). Be sure to ask questions when you don’t understand—the more he explains, the better he learns, too! Or make it a game by having mini bilingual dialogues—when you speak in your shared first language, your child responds in the new one! Your child will feel more supported, motivated, and confident in his new language, all at once!

Tablets and books and music, oh my! Immersion is the best way to learn a new language! Provide your child with different resources like mobile apps and songs for greater exposure. If possible, find books in a bilingual format and take turns reading in the two languages to each other. A little Pili Pop here, a song or DVD there…your child will master the new language in no time!

And the prize for best language learner goes to…! Learning a new language takes effort, so show your child your pride! Simply telling your child that you are proud of his language skills makes all the difference in the world! Of course, offering little prizes as rewards isn’t so bad, either! New language=new scooter!

Keep your eye on the goal! Before your child begins learning a new language, take a moment to set some learning goals together. You might decide to set aside 15 minutes per day for listening to songs, playing Pili Pop, or watching a cartoon in the new language. Or maybe you are planning a family trip to a country where the language is spoken, and you think your child should learn 50 new words before you go. Once your child has a specific goal in mind, language learning becomes a fun activity with a purpose! On your mark, get set, learn!

Being a monolingual parent doesn’t mean you can’t support your child’s language learning. Instead, you have an opportunity to show your child your willingness to support him, guide, him, and share the learning journey together!

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