Many homeschoolers want to incorporate foreign language learning into their studies, but it seems like a daunting task if no one speaks the desired language at home. In much of the US, access to foreign language speakers can be hard to come by. Even if you're interested in Spanish, one of the most commonly spoken languages in the US after English. Many language curricula are built around a common and widespread language learning structure that is not only actively hostile to home use, but serves to give Americans some of the worst foreign language acquisition skills ever. So what can you do if you want your child to learn a language and be actually able to use it?
If you're going to learn a Romance language, some basics Latin will go a long way to jump-starting your language learning. There are plenty of Latin language resources available. Many focus on Latin roots and general language competence instead of teaching Latin as a formal language. As a bonus, scientific names will make much more sense with a little basic Latin
Sticky Tab Your World
Infants tend to learn names for things, i.e. nouns, and simple verbs first. Get some sticky tabs or notecards with a little poster tack and label everything you possibly can around the house. Learners can practice looking at the item and saying its name in the target language.
Uno is a good game for colors and numbers, as is Sorry. Other board games and games like the old playground favorite Red Rover can be adapted. The key is to use existing vocabulary to play the game, and to strive to use only the new language while playing the game. There are also online games available in foreign languages.
YouTube and TV
There are lots of great language segments on YouTube, and many are available for free. You can also watch foreign language television shows and movies (some are also available online). Watch once with subtitles and then again without to help increase learning. Find foreign songs and music videos and sing along.
No matter how old the learner is, really basic children's books can be a fun way to increase language learning. It's possible to find Dr. Suess books in Spanish for example. Don't overlook original foreign language children's books as well. That way you can get a taste of the culture as well as increase language learning.
- Finding Online Games for Foreign Language Learning (langedtech.wordpress.com)
- Translating Eloquence (independentseminarblog.wordpress.com)
- 5 Tricks To Learning A Foreign Language Easily (1first4all.wordpress.com)
- Want to learn a foreign language? Sing in it, researchers say (upi.com)