8 Awesome Second Language Learning Activities

8 Awesome Second Language Learning Activities

If you are interested in finding new ways to expose the little one/s in your life to the beauty of a new language, then you’re in the right place! On this post, I’ve compiled a list of 8 awesome second language learning activities that I’ve thought of, looked up, and tried out myself. 🙂

Typically, when you think of immersing children in a language that’s new to them, you think of high-cost programs, interactive TV shows, etc., but those aren’t the only resources out there! There are plenty of fun, free ways to teach children and let them have a great time, as well.

Related Post: 6 Ways To Make Second Language Learning Fun

Just remember that you don’t have to be proficient in the language yourself to teach your child! You can learn songs, read short books, do finger plays, play simple memory games, etc., and be learning right along with them. That’s what I’m doing, and I’m enjoying it just as much as my five-year-old brother!

I hope you enjoy this post!

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{Language Learning Activities}

1. Songs. This is a great one for all ages! From nursery rhymes to hit pop songs, there’s a large music selection out there across a whole variety of languages. I’ve been listening to GallinaPintadita on YouTube recently because I’m teaching my younger siblings Spanish, and “Los Pollitos Dicen” has been our favorite so far!

2. Finger plays. Look up “finger plays” in the language that you’re teaching and see what you find! I just did that myself, and I found an article on Google that I’m going to have to read later hahahah

3. Simple conversation. Teach them words that they’d like to know in the new language! Bring up how to say different subjects that they’re interested in, from cars, to toys, to animals, and anything else, really. 🙂

4. Digital activities. Computer games designed for young children can easily be turned into a language learning experience if you talk about what they’re seeing and playing in the new language, even if the game itself is in English (or whatever language you two primarily speak). Be creative!

5. Books. This one’s my favorite! If you can get your hands on books written for children in the new language, then that’s a perfect way to immerse your child (as long as they’re enjoying it!). However, if you have to get picture books or wordless books to discuss with them because you can’t get any in the language that you’re teaching, that works, as well. Visit your library and see what they have (unless you’re teaching a very young child, in which case I’d browse board books online).

6. Games. There are all sorts of games, from board games to card games to word games! Browse Google and see what you can find.

7. Flashcards. Depending on the child, flashcards can be very fun, or very boring. If you think your little one would enjoy flashcards (alphabet, animals, words, etc.), definitely give it a try! And if not … I wouldn’t recommend them. But don’t be discouraged! There are plenty of other fun ways to teach them.

8. Television. I don’t highly recommend this one, as studies done on children who watched foreign language shows have shown little to no signs of further language development, I thought I’d go ahead and list it as a possibility. This is because if you were to watch one of those shows with your child (Dora the Explorer or Handy Manny, for example) and talk about the show as you two watch it, that will be a way better experience for them than if they watched it themselves!

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The key point throughout this whole post is that children will not be as receptive to a new language when left to learn it on their own. TV shows, books, computer games, interactive apps, and movies are awesome resources for doing with your child, not off by themselves.

Just like when adults are learning a new language, children also learn best through experimentation; trying out new words, letting new sounds roll off our tongues, and growing more confident through praise and understanding. Simply watching and listening doesn’t provide the same experience.

I hope that this post has helped and inspired you. If you have any suggestions of your own, please leave them down below!

How would YOU teach your child a new language?

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!

— Maggie

17 thoughts on “8 Awesome Second Language Learning Activities

  1. Learning a new language is like getting to know a whole new way of thinking. I speak Greek (which is my mother tongue), English, French and Spanish and I think what helped me the most to become more fluent were conversations and songs.

    Kids nowadays have many apps they can use to learn a new language, such as Babel and Duolingo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is very true. As I’ve been learning Spanish, it’s been so interesting to learn the differences between it and English (my first language). Even though I struggle to remember certain things, it’s definitely a fun experience overall. That’s so awesome that you know that many languages!
      Yes, real life conversations help with language understanding so much. I love Duolingo and I also use Memrise, as well. Are you learning any new languages right now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I love Memrise. 🙂 I currently have a 30-day streak going on there! I’m focusing all of my attention right now on learning South American Spanish (as there are definite differences between that and Spain’s dialect), but I’d also love to learn a bit of French one day.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I’ve been able to see many similarities between French and Spanish, and I hadn’t realized that they have anything in common before! I would honestly love to learn French first, but it isn’t as practical for where I live as Spanish is. 😊 Hopefully one day!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with all of them because, at some point in my French learning life, I tried all of them except flashcards. You’re making me eager to take up my French once again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s wonderful! I think that flashcards would be very helpful for me personally in remembering important phrases and correct responses to them. I should make some homemade flashcards and write a post about how that goes haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I agree. I just don’t know why I never got around to using them. I look forward to that post! 🙂

        Like

  3. Very informative Maggie. I’m kind of like Muse, you’re making me want to learn a new language 🙂 I think the games are a great idea too. Kids love games. Couldn’t you use English(if that’s the first language) and then use the new language to identify parts of the game?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Margaret! Oh, that’s wonderful; I’m glad I could inspire you. 🙂 Yes, kids love games, and that would be a great way to teach them! Any way to immerse them in a fun way is a great idea 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great list! We are just starting to teach my 3.5yo French almost by accident. Our library offers immersion classes for little kids and she has done a few. I speak French, so I reinforce at home very gently. However, we have Madeline and Goodnight Moon in French, and both my girls LOVE them! The books are great, and sometimes we just talk about one or two words and repeat it and talk about them a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Oh, that’s so awesome 🙂 I’m glad your girls are enjoying learning French! Keep making it fun for them, as that will definitely encourage their interest in fluency as they get older.

      Like

  5. Great post. Very informative. I can speak 3 languages at the moment but now attempting to learn two more especially French. I have the app “Drops” on my phone. It’s free and gives you five minutes of language lessons which is nice. 5 minutes in every 8 hours. So 10 minutes in a day. I have learned a lot effortlessly because of it being repetitive and easy for the brain.

    I noticed that the more senses you use in learning a language, the more easily you will absorb it. Also, knowing how you learn best as well. Like determining your learning style if you’re more visual or hearing and whatnot. That kids also learn best when they are simply just having fun. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Anna! Man, I wish I could speak three languages. That app sounds cool; I’ve never heard of it before. I’ll have to look it up!
      Yes, it’s important to know what type of learner you are when going into second language learning. 🙂 Getting a feel for different types of learning (visual, auditory, etc) will help determine what’s best for you. Personally, I enjoy a bit of everything, but if I had to choose, I’d be auditory. Thank you for the nice comment!

      Like

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