6 Ways To Make Second Language Learning Fun

6 Ways To Make Second Language Learning Fun

I understand that this post probably won’t be relevant for most of my readers. Despite this, I decided to still write it in the hopes that one day, I can inspire someone!

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been studying the subject of raising children to be bilingual. While I don’t have any kids of my own yet, I do have two younger siblings – a five year old and an eight month old – who I can easily start teaching the Spanish language!

No, they won’t grow up being bilingual, although that would be pretty cool! I don’t know enough of the language myself yet to be able to do that … but I can do different, fun activities with them to teach them the basics. I’ve already started doing that, and I’ll be sure to talk about that in my next post on this subject!

In this post, I’d like to share with you 6 ways to make second language learning fun – these are the best tips for introducing a child to a new language!

This is for anyone who would like to teach the little ones in their life a new language, whether you’re aiming for bilingualism or a basic introduction to the language.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy.

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1. Be positive and encouraging. Children become more confident when praised, so if you encourage their progress, however fast or slow it may be, their enjoyment of the second language will be strengthened! Keep activities positive and enjoyable; children love to have a good time.

2. Tailor to their personal interests. For example, I chose several different Spanish books from the library the other day to read to my little brother. While one of the books had caught my particular interest, he preferred another book over it and chose that one instead. I let it go so that we could have a positive experience geared toward his interests, not mine.

3. Teach them when the time is right. If they’re not in the best mood when you’re about to sit down and do an activity with them, wait for another time. Make sure that language learning is always as fun as it can be, not something they feel they have to sit through.

Related Post: 5 Important Language Learning Tips

4. Encourage correct pronunciation, but don’t push it. Just like with a child’s first language, they won’t be able to pronounce every word correctly the first time – even several times! They will learn best through trial and error, not frequent correction. Exhibit patience and kindness.

5. Let them learn in their own way. For example, if you’re primarily singing songs in the new language with them, but they seem to get more out of looking at books written in the new language with you, read more books. Learning a new language, especially for children, has to be a fun process. It’s the easiest way for them to learn!

6. Always make it fun! Children love to have a blast! Whatever you’ve decided to do with your child, turn it into enjoyable activities for them. Kids need positive stimulation. And wouldn’t it be awesome if they looked forward to learning the new language because of how much fun you make it? That would be wonderful!

As you can see throughout these tips, the key word here is FUN! While learning a new language can often be a tedious process, it can also be an awesome journey for children. Be on the lookout for my next post, which will be about possible things you can do to teach your child a new language!

Thanks for reading!

Do YOU have any suggestions or questions about teaching children a second language? Leave them down below!

— Maggie

I Am Satisfied

I Am Satisfied

I have spent my whole life looking for things to make me happy, to keep me occupied and bring me joy.

From hobbies, to people, to pastimes, I am searching.

I don’t stay in one place for long; I am quick to leave unfulfilling things behind, to move on, in pursuit of better options. There have even been times when I’ve optimistically returned to a dusty old interest, only to rediscover why I had abandoned it in the first place.

From interests, to friendships, to entertainment, I am looking.

I have travelled far and wide on my search for the fulfillment I need to be happy, but I have come up empty every time.

From restlessness, to loneliness, to boredom, I am wandering.

In the midst of these journeys, there is only one place that I always return to. It’s the one place that never disappoints, the one place that always nourishes my aching soul.

It’s in the arms of my Creator – the loving embrace of my Heavenly Father.

Being with Him brings me such comfort, peace, and joy … it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever known.

No matter what I’ve done, regardless of how far I’ve gone astray, He is always waiting for me to return to Him; with everlasting patience, He welcomes me back.

Living out His plan for my life is the hobby that I need.

Having Him for my closest Friend is the companionship that I need.

Experiencing His presence is the pastime that I need.

From peace, to fellowship, to contentment, I am satisfied.

I am home. ❤

Fill the void in my heart, O Lord,

Satisfy my thirst;

Through all of this, I have come to see

That You must always come first.

— Maggie

Visit the ‘His Child‘ category on my blog for more spiritual inspiration.

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

Chelia over at Pink For Days nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! 🙂

I just love the name of this specific award! It sounds so bright and cheery.

Alright, on with my answers to her questions!

  1. What is your greatest achievement? When I was 13, I wrote an 18k word novel called ‘The Dark Team.’ It’s about a sleek black pegasus and a huge black dragon. 🙂
  2. What is your biggest blogging related goal? To keep up with this specific blog for at least a year or two. I’m pretty awful about blog commitment!
  3. What’s your guilty pleasure? Different suggestive songs … such as the one I’m listening to right now. Caught in the act!
  4. If you had to eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would you pick? If actual health isn’t in the equation, macaroni and cheese. I couldn’t actually live off of it, but I never get tired of the taste!
  5. What do you do to relax once you get home from work/school? Watch YouTube, or spend time alone in my room, reading the Bible.
  6. What is you best organization tip? Don’t clutter! The less there is, the more focus there can be. Make the most of less.
  7. Tell me about the first time you did something. Anything. – The first time I was finally able to tie my shoes (I was 6, I think) was when I was standing on the sidewalk outside one of my all-time favorite restaurants – Golden Corral. I don’t remember if we had already eaten or if we were on our way in, but I was so stoked proud of myself.
  8. What was the scariest moment of your life so far? -I’d rather not get into it, but it has to do with someone I love and faulty roller coasters. But everything turned out okay.
  9. If you could date a fictional character, who would be bae? – Goodness, I have no idea; there are so many that I love. Well, Mr. Knightley would be pretty fantastic!
  10. What’s your favorite blog? Nuuuu, don’t make me choose favorites! But if you insist … I’d say The Word, which is run by a wonderful woman who posts poems she’s written, as well as Bible verses. I love it so much! She inspires me every day.
  11. Are you a saver or a spender? Saver! I have always been very conscious of my spending, and I absolutely love getting the best deal and finding ways to save money.

My questions are…

  1. What are your plans for next weekend?
  2. If you had to choose one song to describe your life right now, what would it be?
  3. What were you really into as a kid?
  4. Have you ever saved an animal’s life? How about a person’s life?
  5. Are you organized or disorganized?
  6. What’s a strange dream that you recently had? (Don’t be shy; we all have them.)
  7. Who in your life brings you the most joy?
  8. Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?
  9. How often do you stay up past midnight?
  10. What’s your favorite season? Why?
  11. How much time do you usually spend on the internet? What do you usually do?

If you’re a follower of mine, consider yourself nominated!

Comment your answers down below, or write your own post. xx I’d love to see your answers!

I hope you’re having a great weekend so far!

— Maggie

Little Accomplishments – February 24th, 2017

Little Accomplishments – February 24th, 2017

What have you accomplished this week?

Yesterday, I had an awesome idea for a post that I could do weekly (ever Friday), and this is the first one of the series.

I’m calling them Little Accomplishments!

Each post will contain a short list of the things that I completed in the past seven days, things that I’ve been needing to do (for however long) and am happy that I finally did them. In the comments, all of you are invited to share what you’ve done (mainly the little things, but big things are fine, too!) over the past week.

Let’s celebrate all of life’s joys – no matter how small!

This past week, I…

  • re-memorized recently learned Spanish words on Memrise. (I had been needing to do it for weeks!)
  • finished reading Waiting on God. (And I’m so glad that I did! It encouraged me greatly.)
  • went through miscellaneous papers. (Yawn. But it needed to be done!)
  • tidied my closet. (I don’t know why I kept putting this one off.)
  • wrote a blog outline. (Quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever done.)
  • made a blogging schedule. (Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays!)

Comment what YOU’VE done this week down below – last Saturday through today!

— Maggie

Raspberry Streusel Bars!

Raspberry Streusel Bars!

OH. MY. WORD.

These bars are one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted – and they’re most definitely the best treat I’ve made so far!

I cannot get over how good they were. And the fact that I made them myself makes them even more special!

The buttery crust, raspberry filling, sweet streusel topping, and sugary glaze all compliment each other so well.

To finish using what I had of the raspberries and raspberry preserves before they went bad, I made two batches of these bars, and they were a winner with my family both times.

I highly recommend that you make some for yourself!

(Note: I got my raspberry preserves from Trader Joe’s; I don’t know where else they are sold.)

Happy baking! 😀

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{Raspberry Streusel Bars}

Ingredients:

Shortbread Crust

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup flour

Raspberry Filling

3/4 cup raspberry preserves

12-16 fresh raspberries

Streusel

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp butter or margarine

1 1/2 tsp milk

Glaze Directions: Mix ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer glaze to a sandwich bag and snip one of the bottom corners. Drizzle over warm dessert to taste.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch glass baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.

2. Make the crust: Stir the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Make the streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Slowly add in the chilled butter or margarine, mixing with a spoon then cutting it with a knife until it resembles coarse crumbs.

4. Remove the crust from the oven, and turn up the oven to 350°F.

5. Spread preserves over the warm crust and dot it with raspberries. Sprinkle the streusel on top and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, then drizzle the glaze over the top. Serve warm.

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— Maggie

5 Important Language Learning Tips

5 Important Language Learning Tips

In the summer of 2013, I had to pick a foreign language to study. It was partly for my schoolwork, but it was also simply for pleasure.

At first, I desired to learn French, so I got the resources that I needed to do so. But I quickly realized that the most worthwhile choice for me would be to learn Spanish – and I’m so glad that I made the decision to switch!

In these past three and a half years, I’ve tried out different programs, played language learning apps, and watched educational videos. With my [pretty limited, haha] knowledge, I have come up with a list of 5 important language learning tips for anyone learning a new language. Whether you just started, or you’ve been learning for years, I’m sure that at least one of these tips can help you. I hope you enjoy!

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1. Memorize verb conjugation. I can’t say that I have this one down myself as of yet, but it’s still very important to do! Depending on the verb and the language, conjugation has different forms, but I found that after choosing a single verb (I selected ‘ir’; Spanish for ‘to go’) and memorizing its endings, I am now more easily able to remember other Spanish verbs. It isn’t foolproof, but it does help me to quickly be able to recall those pesky conjugations.

2. Learn as much as you can, as often as you can. Depending on how much time you desire to put into this, your personal preferences will determine how quickly you progress. For example, I’m choosing to only learn Spanish through free apps for the time being, so as I feel inspired, I complete lessons. It isn’t much, but I’m still getting to daily interact with Spanish. Just remember that the more exposure you have to the new language, the faster you’ll learn!

Related Post: About My Passion for Spanish + The Best Language-Learning App!

3. Try to relate new words to words you’re already familiar with. I’m not able to do this very often, but when I can, it is very helpful! For example, the word for ‘cold’ in Spanish is ‘frío,’ which looks a lot like our word ‘freeze,’ which relates back to ‘cold’! That makes it so much easier for me to remember.

4. Use your knowledge to create your own sentences. I’m not talking about the sample sentences they have you memorize on educational apps – however, those are helpful! I’m talking about using what you know of the language you’re learning and making your own sentence/s. For example, tengo un perro. I don’t actually, as a matter of fact, but that was just to show you a sample sentence – one that I didn’t memorize, but can create with what I know of Spanish. 😂

5. Be optimistic! Depending on why you’re learning a foreign language, you may either be enjoying the learning process, or absolutely despising it. If you are enjoying learning, that’s awesome! But whether you’re required to do this, or not, try to be as optimistic as possible; everyone has a unique way of learning, and everyone learns at different speeds. Just because you’re not progressing as fast as you think you should be, or as a fast as someone else is, doesn’t mean that you’re not doing beautifully.

Are you interested in learning a completely new language, or picking up where you left off on one you know a bit of? I recommend checking out the apps (not sponsored) Duolingo and Memrise. Both are available for FREE in the App Store, and Memrise has its own website, as well!

Thanks for reading!

What are YOUR language learning tips? Share them down below!

— Maggie

A Year of Strengthening Faith

A Year of Strengthening Faith

I’m holding on to You…

It’s all I know to do.

— Leeland, “Chains Hit The Ground”

So far, this year has been a time of learning for me.

In multiple situations, my trust in the Lord has been tried, and through them, I know that my faith has already been strengthened. And these situations aren’t even over yet! But I’m consciously making the confident decision every day to leave them in His hands. I know that He cares for me, and that He has a wonderful reason for everything He has me going through.

As well as the art of faith, I’ve also been learning the art of patience this past month and a half. For a long while, I haven’t been able to get along very well with my 5yo brother, Samuel. I’m finally accepting that he’s much younger than I am and that I need to stop expecting him to act older than his age – thus, I can do activities with him now with a happy heart and a smile on both of our faces. ❤

The Lord is also teaching me to be understanding of where my younger brother, Joshua, is in his walk in life … and with the Lord. We have very different interests and maturity levels, but I’m slowly coming to accept him how he is right now and to be understanding of our differences. It’s definitely not easy, but the Lord is helping me.

The last thing I’ve been learning is how I want this blog to be, and where I should be taking it with what I write. I want it to be about my walk with the Lord, as well as the different things I’m interested in, the things that make me happy. 😊 I think I have a plan now: I’d like to post a recipe on Thursdays, a Little Accomplishments post on Fridays, a post about the Lord on Sundays, and a post about anything else that’s on my mind on Tuesdays. I’ll stick to that as best I can. Some weeks, I’ll post more, and some weeks, I’ll post less, but as a whole, that’s what I want my blog to be like.

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Just like in our game of hopscotch on Friday, I’m taking this journey of learning to trust in the Lord and have patience with my brothers one step – no, let’s make that hop – at a time – and in some instances, it’s two hops at a time!

Life and hopscotch can be quite unpredictable sometimes.

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Thanks for reading!

What has YOUR 2017 been like so far?

— Maggie

Visit the ‘His Child‘ category on my blog for more spiritual inspiration.

The Four of Us

The Four of Us

Recently, someone thought that Joshua and I were twins.

A few years ago, someone thought that I was his mother.

I’m sure that multiple people have thought that Elizabeth is my daughter.

This is the life of the eldest child in a group of four siblings that are very different ages.

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The comments, remarks and assumptions can be quite awkward sometimes – but I wouldn’t change these age differences for the world.

Without these three hooligans beautiful siblings in my life, I would be a completely different person; much more quiet, much lonelier, much more selfish … I’m pretty thankful for them.

True, we have our differences, and oftentimes, the range of maturity levels clash. But we’re all learning to accept each other the way we are, to understand where each person is in their walk in life, and that has brought us so much closer.

Would you like to meet all of us individually? Come read below!

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Like I already mentioned, I’m the oldest! I have a passion for sharing God’s love, photography, and trying new things (especially new desserts). You can read more about what my hobbies and interests are here.

My first younger brother, Joshua, is the closest to me in age; we’re about four years apart. I used to be able to call him my ‘little’ brother, but man – he suddenly got so tall this past year! He’s a really sweet guy, and he loves sports, science, games, and movies! We easily squabble and get on each other’s nerves all the time, but underneath all of that, we love each other. Oh, and by the way, he has own gaming channel that I run for him – you should go check it out if you want a good laugh!

Samuel is my second little brother, and he’s still small – though goodness knows for how much longer that will be! At five years of age, he loves playing pretend, being silly, watching TV, and learning new things – right now, he’s learning to write! He’s the most adorable, kindest kindergartner you’ll ever meet.

The youngest member of our squad is baby Elizabeth. She’s a spunky 7-month-old with the fluffiest hair ever! Her facial expressions and vocalizations are the cause for much laughter and joy in our household. I love getting to watch her grow up! I’ve always wanted a sister, and she was well worth the long wait.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this little post about us! I quite enjoyed writing it.

— Maggie