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24 July 2018

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Parent influence on children’s language acquisition

Besides all the benefits from the interactions between parent/caregiver and child during music classes, parents’ participation can play one of the most important keys for language acquisition that will transfer to future learning experiences. Parents are the greatest models for children. The way you act, speak and relate to others is the greatest example for your child to follow for good or for bad whether you like it or not. When parents participate with their little ones in a class that is taught in Chinese language, they are modeling many different things that will set the standard for the little ones. If the main caregiver or parent attend classes with a child, pays attention and participate, the child will automatically and almost unconsciously value that class’s concepts. Children who attend such language classes will develop better disposition to learning concepts related to the classes and their brain will also show some differences in their advantage over children who did not attend similar classes. Parent-child programs are also the best opportunity to show your little one the right attitude to have in school and other social and academic settings in the years to follow. They will learn from you to participate, to interact and respect others, to pay attention, to wait for appropriate times to take an action, etc. Later in life, these skills will flow naturally from children who participated in classes during their infancy. Very few things are as important as repetition when learning a language. Even your first language! This is why we naturally repeat over and over (and over, and over, and over) the same phrases and words to our new babies. Nature knows there is not a better way to learn a language. In a similar way, well-designed weekly foreign language class will provide multiple repetitions of the main concepts in each class. At the same time, a good instructor will use different stimuli to link concepts to different parts of the brain targeting visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic parts of the brain.