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English for Babies: Frequently Asked Questions

Is my baby too young to learn English?

It is never too early to introduce English to your baby. Babies love sounds, rhymes, and stories. Learning a language comes naturally to them. Most experts agree that babyhood is the best time to learn a second language. From birth to about age two or three, your baby's brain acts like a sponge. This is also the best time for a parent to teach a language. Parents and other adults naturally speak more slowly and clearly to babies than older children. They also tend to repeat words and phrases often. Repetition is very important for language learning.

How will my baby learn English?

Babies learn languages in many ways. Most importantly, they learn through listening. The more words they hear, the more words they learn. They also learn from watching and imitating. While you play together, your baby will learn to associate words with objects. English Club will help you introduce your baby to English through songs, rhymes, and playtime.

How long should we practise?

Baby wearing backpackMake English part of your daily routine. Sing, read, and play with your baby in English whenever you think of it. Recite a rhyme on the diaper table, sing a song in the bath, and read a bedtime story. Think of teaching English as part of your playtime not as a lesson. Babies tell us when they are tired, bored or hungry. Watch for cues. When your baby rubs her eyes, cries, or crawls away, she is probably ready for a new activity. It is important not to overstimulate a baby.

Will my baby get confused about her first language?

Many parents fear they will confuse their babies by introducing two languages. Research shows that babies can learn more than one language at a time. In bilingual homes, many parents use a method where one parent speaks one language and another parent speaks another language. Sometimes they choose a language that will be the "native" language, though children will make their own decisions, based on the one they hear more often. You should do whatever feels most natural to you. Interacting with your baby early on in both languages is the key. Never let a television take the place of a human.

Why isn't my baby talking?

Mom and baby playingExperts believe that babies understand language about 6 months before they can express their understanding. Your baby is mainly listening to sounds and words. When you talk, read, and sing to your baby, he will listen and smile. One day your baby will surprise you. She will sing along with you or point to an item and say the proper word. Then you will know that she was listening! Never compare your baby with other babies. Children learn at their own pace. It is unfair to have learning expectations at this age. Keep in mind that babies are learning many things at once. When your baby starts to walk he may stop talking for a while. This doesn't mean you should stop singing and reading to him! Visit here for more beginner's tips.

Will my baby learn my English mistakes?

Don't worry if your English isn't strong. You are still the best teacher! Babies love the sounds of their parents' voices. These pages are designed for beginners. You and your baby can learn together.

enjoy: like
introduce: begin
natural: something you are born with
overstimulate: confuse or cause anxiety by introducing too many activities or objects
repetition: read or say over and over again
confuse: cause learning trouble
sponge: a soft material that can absorb a lot of water