Language Learning – Reward or Punishment?

“Go run a mile.”


To the energetic dog, this command is a delightful reward because it is something they love to do. To someone who hates running, this will be a punishment because they hate the activity. Even though you can’t reach down inside your child and change their desires to value language learning, you have the power to create an environment in which language learning is either despised as a punishment or honored as a reward. 


Language Learning as a Punishment


If you want your child to see the language learning process as a punishment, make sure you do the following:

Don’t get involved at all. If you don’t care, neither will they.

Don’t create a schedule. Let chaos reign and begin disorganized language lessons whenever and wherever you feel like it on whatever topic happens to pop up that day. 

Don’t reward them for progress, milestones, and good behavior.

Do make them learn only from a book with no fun activities

Do micromanage every single aspect of the language learning process. 



Language Learning as a Reward


If you want your child to see the language learning process as a reward, make sure you do the following:

Do be involved! Apps, YouTube, language classes, tutors, language partners are all helpful, but nothing replaces your involvement and encouragement because you know them best and love them most. Studies show that parental involvement leads to higher academic achievement, school engagement, and motivation. 

Do create a schedule. Establishing a daily/weekly schedule will set expectations for your children so that they know when is the time to play, and when is the time to sit down and learn. In addition, either find or create an organized curriculum of language topics that build on one another from one lesson to the next. 

Do reward them for progress, milestones, and good behavior. An “I’m proud of you” will mean the world to your child. Stickers, extra video game time, a trip to the zoo – you know exactly what rewards they prefer that will reinforce language learning as something to be desired. 

Do add fun activities, games, crafts, and outings that make their learning come alive. 

Do present your child with language learning options and opportunities and let them discover special elements of the language for themselves in their timing. 


Here at Cultural Bytes, we believe that learning a language is worth the effort and it doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’re looking for someone to come alongside you in your child’s language learning journey by providing a fun, safe, and effective space to learn, then take a look at our Online and In Person classes for Spanish, French, and Mandarin. With our native-speaking teachers, well-ordered curriculum, and exciting activities, every class feels like a reward.

Other Articles

Need help? call us