Hire Online Portuguese Tutors to Teach Your Children Portuguese
If you’re a native Portuguese speaker who has relocated to an English-speaking country and now have children, you may be dismayed to find that your children don’t know your native language. In this case, what do you do? How can you teach your children Portuguese and open up the door to communication with relatives and create a deeper connection with their culture? Online Portuguese tutors can help.
Online tutors can help your children learn Portuguese, no matter their age or language level. Some children of expats can speak their parent’s tongue fluently, but can’t read or write. Other children have no background at all in their parent’s native language. Whatever stage your child is at, Portuguese tutors can help them reach their goals.
Where Can You Find Online Portuguese Tutors for Your Children?
There are thousands of online Portuguese tutors online, but are they all equally experienced and effective? No. Finding a random tutor online isn’t a good idea, since you can’t be sure that they’re as experienced as they say they are. A good site to search for Portuguese tutors is Eurekly, a platform for tutors in all different subjects.
Each tutor has a profile where you can read a short bio and see the tutor’s specialties. If you’re looking for a tutor for your child, you’ll want someone who specializes in teaching children or Portuguese as a second language. In the tutor’s profile you can also see reviews given by real students. These reviews contribute to the tutor’s rating, which is given out of five stars.
Many tutors on the site offer a free trial lesson, which is a great benefit because it allows you to see if your child and the tutor are a good match without putting down one penny—um centavo.
Do Children Learn Foreign Languages Faster than Adults?
Many people think that kids learn foreign languages much easier than adults, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Many researchers are realizing that children don’t learn languages faster than adults, but just differently.
According to an article published in Concordia Working Papers in Applied LInguistics, it’s a myth that children learn languages faster than adults. Likewise, Dave Featherstone, Ph.D. in Biology and tenured neuroscience professor at the University of Illinois, writes that evidence shows that adults can learn languages just as well as children. The difference is in the way they learn.
Kids listen to everything, practice all the time, and aren’t afraid or embarrassed of mistakes they make. Whereas adults tend be to embarrassed to speak in the wrong accent or fearful of making mistakes and looking stupid, kids just move on and keep talking. However, even with their effective learning methods, it can still take kids years to master a language (just as adults).
Therefore, children don’t necessarily learn foreign languages faster or more easily than adults. However, with the proper instruction, guidance, and practice techniques, they can succeed with flying colors.
How Can a Tutor Help Your Child Learn Portuguese?
We already know that children have the ability to become proficient in a foreign language, even though it can take several years. And while they may not necessarily learn faster than adults, they do have one distinct advantage: natural curiosity.
Adults are often bored, tired, or impatient when it comes to learning new things. Kids have an innate curiosity that the right instructor can use to help them learn new things. The right tutor can make Portuguese come to life with a little creativity. Playing games in Portuguese, talking about topics your child is interested in, creating contests or tournaments, etc. There is no shortage of ways to make learning interesting.
As a parent, you can supplement your child’s learning with language exposure, like watching movies or TV shows in Portuguese or playing Portuguese music. It’s important to make learning fun and not pressure your child, because pressure can create resistance and will end up achieving the opposite of what you want.
Benefits of Bilingualism
As a Portuguese-speaking parent, it’s understandable why you would want your child to speak your native language. But in addition to deeper communication with you and other family members, there are several other benefits of bilingualism.
The BBC has a fascinating article that details the benefits of bilingualism.
- Bilingualism leads to significantly more gray matter in the brains than monolingual people, specifically in the anterior cingulate cortex. This increases executive control.
- Bilingualism can delay dementia or Alzheimer’s
- Bilingualism can offer some degree of protection against brain injury
Some research shows that bilingualism can also help children do better in school, but that research has not been repeated or substantiated.
However, giving your child Portuguese lessons isn’t about getting them to do better in school. It’s about connecting with you on a more personal level, being in tune with their culture, and opening up new and wondrous opportunities.