Many parents want their children to know at least one language besides their mother tongue. But what parents don’t know is that the earlier your child starts their foreign language lessons, the faster they will master it.
According to research, children’s brains are so flexible and alert for the new information that they can master the phonetics of any foreign language within 5 hours when placed in the right social context.
So, your child can quite possibly become a polyglot. But the research suggests that it can only happen if a child is in the social context that facilitates foreign language learning. Such context can only be created if a child interacts with a native speaker.
Benefits of Learning a New Language with a Native Speaker
Before we jump into the best places to find a native speaker, let’s consider three main benefits of learning a foreign language with a native speaker in general.
1) Your child will learn the proper pronunciation right from the start
A foreign language teacher can help your kid learn everything from scratch – grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etc. But what foreign language teachers often don’t have is proper pronunciation.
However, if your child starts lessons with a native speaker right away, their pronunciation will be closer to how it is supposed to sound. Besides, interactions with a native speaker will effectively remove accents right from the start.
2) Native speakers always teach the living language
Often, foreign language teachers can use foreign language learning methods and resources that have gone obsolete. Classes with a native speaker, on the other hand, will let your child listen to the living language – the modern and everyday version of it.
3) Native speaker will evaluate your kid’s proficiency level more precisely
If your child already has some knowledge of a foreign language and you want them to keep learning it, it’s essential to evaluate their current proficiency level to build a proper curriculum.
A native speaker will be able to determine the proficiency level of your kid with the help of tests and via an interview, which will help them figure out the precise resources and methods your child needs to keep mastering the language.
Where to Find Native Speakers to Learn a New Language for Free?
Of course, most ways of learning a foreign language with native speakers are paid. It’s either an app or an online language learning school, which can come out quite expensive.
While we still recommend getting your child a tutor via certified online schools, there are still some free options for your kid to practice a foreign language with other native speakers. Here are some suggestions.
1) Social media communities
Social platforms have plenty of groups where language teaching (and learning) enthusiasts share useful resources and offer speaking practices.
For instance, you can tap into Facebook communities. Here’s one of them, and it’s called “Free classes for kids.” There, your child can learn many things, and a foreign language as well. In the example below, a lady gives a lesson on colors in French:
Credit: Free Classes for Kids
There are also many groups on Facebook that specialize in language learning specifically. They often post discussions in which your child can participate and practice their writing skills.
Online communities like Reddit aren’t usually considered kid-friendly, but there are some subreddits where your child can find a native speaker.
For instance, there’s a subreddit called r/languagelearning, where people share their tips on mastering foreign languages. Your child also can participate in discussions and find friends to talk to. On this subreddit, there’s also a lot of interesting language learning hacks.
3) Free app discussion forums
Many free apps have forums where language learners discuss different language learning topics, and your child can partake in them.
For instance, Duolingo has a forum where every app user can ask questions and interact with others. You can directly ask if a native speaker can practice the language with you, and people will be eager to help:
If your child has good knowledge of their mother tongue already, they can offer a native speaker from a forum a language exchange, where they both help each other master their native languages.
It’s worth it for your child to learn a foreign language. And, it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. You can absolutely find a native speaker for free.
There’s an abundance of resources – social media communities, Reddit, online forums. All you need to have is the desire to learn, and finding a native speaker won’t be a problem.
Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, he works as a digital marketing specialist; you can check here. He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.