Language learning is a process every child must go through. Moreover, it is a process where children learn to think, express thoughts into words, hear, write, and read.
On another note, we live in a digital era with all its advantages and disadvantages. We embrace technology usage for the professional, private, informative, and communicative parts of our lives.
But, we are not that grateful (and we shouldn’t be) for the addictive properties, inappropriate content, and hackers we run into on the Internet.
These bad attributes of the Internet make our adult decisions even harder, especially for our children. Nowadays, many factors can affect children’s language development, including technology.
With all of the passive content our children watch on the screens, they might increase the risks of speech delay.
Because of this raising a child in a digital era demands interactive content that stimulates children’s language skills.
Traditional Methods vs. Tech-Savvy Approaches for Language Learning
Early language learning starts from the moment children are born. They recognize and understand certain words by hearing them.
Traditional methods for the language learning process are commonly home-based, and parents have to be the first ones that introduce children to their language.
When children learn how to talk, we move on to letters. It is a process where children learn to remember the letters, recognize them in the sentence, and write.
We can use self-made flashcards or letter puzzles, which can help children learn easier. Reading stories and talking to our little ones will also help their learning process.
The old traditional learning methods mainly include paper and pen. On the other hand, technology offers way more options.
The impact of technology on children’s language learning process is enormous. It motivates children to learn by using educational apps that make vocabulary fun.
A study by Cambridge University states that children learn better through interactive games. So, tech-savvy methods for learning are more familiar to children.
Advantages of Technology in Early Age Language Learning
Children’s language learning process with technology is more fun and engaging compared to the boring traditional pen-and-paper method.
Introducing children to high-quality educational content on the Internet has a lot of benefits and can improve children’s mental capabilities, such as:
- Focus and concentration;
- Ability to memorize;
- Learning grammar and expanding their vocabulary;
- Less stress caused by learning;
Also, the learning material is adaptive to children’s age, maturity, interests, and learning styles. Due to this, learning through technology can accelerate language acquisition. Gamification and multimedia can also develop a positive mindset about language in our children.
Games are interactive, fun, and exciting, and enhance children’s language learning skills. Also, their competitive character motivates our children (like Candy Crush motivates me to play new levels every week).
Disadvantages Of Technology-Assisted Language Learning
Despite the technological advantages in children’s early-age language learning process, there is always a gap between children’s and adults’ tech skills.
Sometimes providing technology-assisted learning is not an easy target for parents or schools, especially when you think about how expensive tech is.
Parents/caregivers can overcome these issues by searching for resources and free educational apps with high quality on the market on the devices they already possess.
But be aware and try not to let your children overuse tech, even for learning. Studies show that about half of all children are addicted to tech. That’s not a good number!
Children’s screen time should be monitored by parents/caregivers and balanced with their indoor and outdoor activities.
Technology’s Impact on Language Skills
Technology usage can have a positive impact on children’s language skills development. The educational apps (for example, crossword puzzles) improve children’s thinking skills, help them expand and retain vocabulary, and learn new phrases.
Moreover, multiplayer games help children grow their collaboration and teamwork skills. Also, we all know how difficult grammar can be.
But technology blessed us and our children with specific programs that correct spelling and help us easily learn grammar rules. What more to ask?
Last but not least, technology assists in refining pronunciation and phonetics. With the help of specific apps, children can develop their fluency, intonation, and pronunciation skills.
Best Tools and Platforms for Early Age Language Learning
Luckily, we have the Internet, which has a lot of games and educational apps that can properly teach your child language skills. These apps are specifically designed for young learners that want to upgrade their language skills. So, here’s a list of some great language-learning apps:
Children love to play games. And they learn that way the best. So, here’s a list of perfect language-learning games for kids:
- Vocabulary Pictionary;
Children’s language learning process is essential for their development. We are always excited and anxious when we wait for our little ones to say their first words.
So, work hard on your children’s language learning process. Encourage interaction, communication, and thinking skills.
by implementing tech in this process, we can remotely monitor our little ones while they independently learn letters and words.
And when you let children pick between traditional and tech-savvy methods, they’ll always choose tech. And I think they’re quite wise because I’d choose tech as well.
Frequently Asked Questions about Technology and Early Age Language Learning
How much screen time is appropriate for young language learners?
Appropriate screen time for young language learners is approximately 1-2 hours per day of high-quality material, monitored by parents/caregivers.
Do language learning apps effectively support early-age language acquisition?
The learning apps can effectively support early-age language acquisition through interactive videos, games, and rewarding tasks. Children are encouraged through these apps to listen, think, recognize, repeat, write, create words, learn phrases, and expand their vocabulary independently.
How can parents actively participate in technology-assisted language learning?
Parents can choose the best educational app for their children to learn from. Monitoring children’s tech activities will also ensure parents that their little ones don’t overuse tech. Parents can also play multiplayer games with their children and support their learning. Also, reading together online helps children memorize, expand their vocabulary, and understand the content they read.
What are effective strategies for teachers to integrate technology in the classroom?
Some effective strategies for teachers to integrate technology in the classroom are virtual classrooms, interactive presentations, educational games, online assignments, and quizzes.
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