Encouraging global citizenship in children (and adults) can include lot of things. Teaching and cultivating tolerance, promoting sustainability and protecting the planet, celebrating diversity… it’s a long list!
One of the great ways to help little ones to become world citizens is by learning a language. When children learn a language, it seems small, but they are doing so much more than just learning from Dora the Explorer how to say, “Hola!” and “azul.” It gives them an opportunity to see the world through the lens of another place, people and even time! It lays the stepping stones to making lasting, meaningful friendships and relationships. It also encourages selflessness, by giving them an opportunity to recognize the validity of experiences and ways of living outside of their own.
Like the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” This reasoning is reflected in the majority of countries in the world which require children to take a second language in school. Here’s a quick map of Europe from the Pew Research Center that shows the clear majority of European countries require students to learn one, if not two languages in school.
Another graph shows that the average required age to begin language study is around 8 or 9.
So, we know language learning is important and amazing, but one of the biggest challenges that kids and parents alike encounter is motivation and practice. How do you make language learning fun? That’s why Smart Canary created their games. Here’s an intro video!
There are lots of different games besides Fini that participants can play! Detailed instructions are found on Smart Canary’s website. Smart Canary’s games allow the players to practice reading, listening and speaking as a part of the game their playing.