Years ago, I put together a series of posts entitled Lifestyle of Learning. In these posts, I shared how to integrate real life learning into your homeschool to create a fully-immersed lifestyle of learning! My post on Foreign Language was a bit lacking, and I decided to write a follow up that would be more in line with the rest of the posts.
So, if you are wondering how to make foreign language a part of your every day learning, here are a few ideas to get you started!
First of all, surround your children with language opportunities. Books from Usborne like Spanish for Beginners or First Thousand Words are a great place to start. You can also find older versions of these books and others on Amazon.
Keep foreign language dictionaries on hand as well. These were my first introductions to foreign languages as a kid. I would pick up the books and try to pronounce the words. Even if you or your child don’t know how to pronounce the words, it’s worth it to give them an introduction to how the words look.
You can also use YouTube for pronunciation. Simply type in “how to pronounce whatever word you want” and typically, there is a quick pronunciation video for that word. There are also a lot of foreign language class options on YouTube for free.
However, nearly all studies show that speaking a foreign language with someone else in natural conversation is the best way to learn. That’s the reason we chose to go with iTalki when we had no other conversational options available to us. My oldest daughter took French for a couple of years this way. It was phenomenal, and I highly recommend this Skype-based language one-on-one instruction. You can read more about our experience HERE.
Another way to integrate foreign language into your every day activities is by sticking index cards with vocabulary beside things your children commonly use. The world amarillo next to a yellow dish or the word libro near a bookshelf.
Listen to songs in foreign languages on YouTube. Try reading literature in a foreign language – especially if you have the English version on hand as well. Watch movies in a foreign language (PureFlix has films you can trust in Spanish) or turn on the subtitles so you see the words in another language as they are spoken in English or vice-versa.
And any time you can find native speakers to spend time with, do it! My daughter attends coffee with the Deaf community in our town so she can immerse herself in her favorite foreign language – American Sign Language.
Looking for all the Lifestyle of Learning posts? Start Here!