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If you teach two languages...


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... how do you go about it?


How long do you wait before introducing the second language?


How successful has your language learning been?


Dd9 has been doing Lively Latin for 3 months, and I would like to introduce a modern language in January. Does it sound feasible?





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Well, kids here are French speakers. English was introduced when they were about 5yo, Latin at 6, my son got Greek at 8, Spanish at 10. My daughter is in Spanish at 9 *and* Mandarin Chinese at the same time. However she dropped Latin, it really doesn't fit in our schedule.


My rule of thumb is that, if two languages are related, I'm waiting 2 years in-between. Honestly, I think 1 year would be enough, it just happened to take 2 years for us. If the languages are not related, like Spanish and Mandarin, then, I have no problem dealing with introducing them both at the same time. And DD doesn't mix them up at all, they're too different.

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Both of my girls are learning French and my oldest has been learning Latin for a couple of years now. I will probably add Latin for my younger dd in the next year or so. They are doing the Code Cracker for fun too. We spend about 4 days a week on French and try for 5 on Latin. Neither of the girls get mixed up and we do both languages in the morning along with English and Math since these are our most important subjects.



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Our two languages are Latin and Greek (Koine).


We start Greek in 2nd grade.

We start Latin in 3rd grade.


We do each language each day. We do each for about 15-20 minutes.


This is our seventh school year to do this. It seems to work fine; BUT, I will say that we work toward reading and writing profiency, NOT speaking.


To answer your question, yes, it is totally feasible to do Latin and a modern language together.


This is very helpful for me thanks, I plan to do it the same way that you did. I am glad to see that it can work.

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As soon as possible. Kids before 12 have an amazing ability to distinguish languages in their brains.

I speak fluently in 3 languages and I teach them Spanish also. They don't get confused .



My daughter is learning signing, French (modern), Classical Latin, Koine Greek, and is itching to go for Spanish now too. The only problem I have is time to fit them all in. She does not get confused between them, but I think languages are kind of her thing.


I think younger children get languages because they have been in the process of learning that any item can have several names or descriptions. For instance, I can sign "chair" and point to the chair I mean, but when I refer to which chair in speaking, I might say "recliner" or "rocker." Learning several ways to describe an item is what they are constantly doing in the grammar years.

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I'd leave a year between starting new languages, if possible, but the gap you describe should be fine. We haven't had any confusion between languages, but it's hard to find time for them all in the week. This is how language learning has been for the boys - they haven't dropped any languages:


Calvin: playing with Latin at 6-ish; Mandarin at 7; serious Latin at 8; French at 12

Hobbes: Mandarin at 4; playing with Greek at 8; French at 8; Latin at 9.



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Dd is learning both Latin and Spanish. I introduced both languages at the same time without really intending to do so. We started Spanish, and very shortly thereafter a free Latin class became available to us. She is strong with languages and language arts skills, and this has not been a problem for her. We do make sure she does not study the two languages back-to-back though. She needs them to be separated by some time for her to keep it all straight.


My ds struggles a lot more with language skills, so for him we decided to focus on Spanish alone. In high school he may add a second language if he wants to do so. For a child who struggles, I would start one language and then introduce the second one at least 2-3 years later.

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