Some reluctance when learning a second language is normal.
Young students wonder why they can’t just use the free time to watch television or have fun with their friends. But there are things parents can do to help put kids back on track, and they’ll thank you for it in the long run.
1. Explain the value. Children should be made aware that they’re not just learning a second language but also becoming more in tune with another side of themselves. Show them pictures of friends and family in Greece that they’ll be able to communicate with. Set up Skype chats with cousins living in Greece to create a need for them to communicate in that language.
2. Play language games. There are many fun word games, board games and card games that can be used to keep kids interested. The focus is taken off language but they still use language as they play the game and compete.
3. Associate Greek school with fun. Getting up early on a Saturday when other kids are watching cartoons isn’t easy, so make the prospect a little bit more exciting for the child by associating the school with a simple outing afterwards. Take a break together or a walk to the park after the lesson is over.
4. Take a holiday. A visit to Greece can work wonders for the child to be immersed in the language and see it as relevant and fun.
5. Culture. The next best thing to going on a holiday to Greece is to visit the country through books, music, movies and theatre productions in the language. The more contact, the better.
6. Ask for help. Parents wait too long to inform the teacher that their child is acting up and doesn’t want to go to Greek school. By the time they address the problem, it is already firmly entrenched. Don’t waste time and discuss the student’s reluctance to continue learning the language with the teacher so that you can work together to get over the plateau.
7. Don’t give up. If you want your children to use both languages you must hit the ground running, right from birth if you can – day in and day out – with as much exposure and familiarity as possible.