My Language-Learning Journey

My Language-Learning Journey

Hello guys! I hope that you’re having an absolutely beautiful day. 🙂 It has been quite a while since I talked about language learning (except for in practically every single Little Accomplishments, haha), so for today, that’s what I have written about! I’ve touched on this in the past, but it was one of the very first blog posts on my blog (haha), so I will expound on that post, go back a bit further, talk more about the present, stuff like that. If you’re interested, especially if you are learning or would like to learn a new language yourself, I’m sure that you will enjoy today’s post!

Exclusive English Speaker: My Childhood

Like many Americans, I grew up in a household that spoke only English. The only other languages I heard were fragments of conversations out in public, as well as the infrequent use of a foreign phrase, which really doesn’t count. As a whole, I had very minimal exposure to any language but English from the time I was a baby.

That is, any spoken language.

Do you know what ASL is?

American Sign Language and Learning New “Words”

When my little brother was a baby, and I was three to four years old, my mom discovered the world of baby signs. It is very much like American Sign Language (ASL), but only includes the basic signs babies and young children would want and need to use the most. She began using some signs to communicate better with Joshua, such as “more,” “eat,” and “drink,” and I was captivated. It was like this secret hand language that only my family knew, and while I can’t remember when exactly my fascination first began – maybe the first few times Joshua signed back? – but I quite quickly found it to be a lot of fun.

It wasn’t long before I’d learned to count to 10, sign off the alphabet, and express basic feelings and emotions, and my interest in this unspoken language has never gone away. ❤

The Art of ASL

Over the years, my family and I have learned so many signs. I have never sat down and attempted to list all the ones I know, as that would be quite a feat, but I’d say … maybe two hundred?? I have no idea. Anyway, I wanted to add to this post that ASL isn’t just a silent way of communicating; in my opinion, it is also a beautiful form of art.

Back when I was maybe eight or nine, I remember watching my mom sign along to a song we were listening to in the car at the time. I thought that this was the coolest thing EVER! It’s basically like dancing along to a song with your hands – I mean, tell me, isn’t that insanely cool?! In the years that followed, I have signed along to songs I know the lyrics to, and also looked up signs to be able to do it more fully. It is an absolutely amazing experience, and absolutely free of charge, as well!

If for no other reason, I find that ASL comes extremely in handy when I need to ask my mom or brother something wordlessly. This can either be when I’m eating, or halfway across the room, or I have to be quiet for some reason. However, if I try to spell something in ASL, or use a complicated sign that only I know, it can get confusing really quickly, haha!! Still, they know all the main signs, so communicating simple things isn’t a big deal.

Taking A Second Language For School

My love for American Sign Language almost carried over into my education in 8th grade. The spring that I finished 7th grade, my mom told me I would need to take a second language as one of my subjects the following fall. So, I thought, “Oh, that’s cool! I’ll just take ASL.” Turns out, that’s not an official language you can learn and get academic credit; they just teach and approve spoken languages. lol I was extremely disappointed, though.

That summer, I checked out a French language course from the library and proceeded to teach myself the basics. I already knew that my mom wanted me to learn Spanish for school, not French, as it made more sense for where we live (little did we know it would make more sense for my future, too, haha), but I decided to go ahead and learn a bit of French, as well, as it’s a beautiful language and, at the time, I despised Spanish. I thought, why learn a language if it doesn’t look cool or sound pretty? I mean, what’s the point? xD

Ohh, younger me. There are so many points.

However, I didn’t enter 8th grade hating learning Spanish and barely living through the lessons. I didn’t keep up with French and secretly dedicate more time to that than my studies of the language I was actually required to learn. You know what happened?

My Introduction to Spanish

In 2013, I became friends with a family in our neighborhood whose parents only spoke Spanish. Over the course of the next few weeks that summer, I went from wanting nothing to do with the language, to needing to know as much as my friend could tell me so I could have short conversations with her family.

Looking back, I first thought that this immersion experience was a wonderful coincidence. I dropped French like it was hot (lol) and began learning Spanish that fall with ease. Getting to talk to someone who spoke the language and them understanding what I said when I spoke was (and still is!) one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, knowing another language and being able to communicate in a different way is an invigorating experience for me.

At the beginning of 2017, when I almost simultaneously found the app Memrise and learned of the Lord’s plans for me and Guatemala, I corrected my observation and acknowledged the fact that His hand has been at work in my life for years. ❤

Meet Maggie: Aspiring Polyglot, and Servant of The Lord

To some, it may appear that I simply love learning new languages – and I do. But that’s not the whole of it.

Someone greater than I can comprehend has ordained this for me. He has a purpose for my life that I can only begin to imagine. Every second is vital, and this time of waiting is not meant to be wasted.

I love learning Spanish because He has placed the passion in my heart. I love Guatemala because of where He has lead my thoughts, hopes, and dreams. It blesses me exceedingly to be able to do my part, and watch Him do the rest. ❤

Now, before I go, I’d like to cover two more things in this post: what languages I know and how much of each (estimated, haha), and the resources I’ve used for learning Spanish over the years. Let’s get into this!

The Languages I Know

{in order of fluency}

English – I have been speaking English my whole life, and there are now few words I don’t know. My only drawback is that because I read so much as a child, I “taught” myself to pronounce different words a certain way, which ended up being the wrong way. I occasionally misstep on how a word is said, and I get sooo embarrassed, haha! I’m an ace at punctuation, and I’m quite the expert at grammar, but the grouping terms (adverbs, participles, etc.) are way beyond me.

Spanish – For the past four years, I have been teaching myself Spanish with various digital resources (listed below). It has not been a consistent process – I’ve taken time off when I grew weary or lost interest in the program I was currently using – but it has been a great journey as a whole. I know all of the basics by heart, am quite good at tenses, and could probably hold a pretty decent conversation with a native speaker, although I haven’t gotten to do that in a while.

American Sign Language (ASL) – I’ve been learning signs since I was four years old, and while I couldn’t hold a real conversation with a deaf person, they would get a pretty good idea of what I was trying to convey, lol.

Portuguese (Brazil) – I have been teaching myself the basics for the past few months. It’s exciting when I’m able to catch on to the similarities of this language and Spanish, but I’m taking it slowly because I fear I will mix up the two languages in my head, and I don’t want to do that.

French – For the last couple of years, I have acquired the knowledge of basic phrases and some. It won’t get me very far, but I’m fine with it for now.

Dutch – I went through a phase back in ’14 where I read a lot of books by an author who was from the Netherlands, and I quickly fell in love with the country and its language. I took a few lessons on an app on my phone and learned the basics, but that was it, and my understanding is quite dusty by now.

4 Language-Learning Courses / Apps
That I Have Used

  • Instant Immersion. This is a complete course you can buy on Amazon for less than $100, but I would not recommend it. The information is good, yet the setup is poor; the man and woman speaking the phrases make unnerving facial expressions; and I actually doubt the legitimacy of some of the words and sentences now. It was a nice introduction for me, but please, get something else.
  • Fluencia. This is an online course that has different package deals (you pay for how long you intend on learning the language), and while I used this website, I was really happy with what I learned! I love the setup, the voices and phrases they chose, and the review sessions were amazing. The main thing I learned that has proved extremely helpful now was tenses. I’m so thankful for what it taught me! However, when I wanted to take a break from learning after nearly a four-month streak, my mom went to cancel our subscription, and they basically said because we weren’t going to be paying them money anymore, they terminated my account, which made me lose all my progress. DON’T GIVE THESE GREEDY PEOPLE ANY MONEY! I was planning on returning to using Fluencia after my break, but then I saw how awful the people behind it were! Please, invest in other language-learning software!
  • DuoLingo. This is a fan-favorite for people wanting to quickly pick up a language, as it’s free and the courses are pretty thorough, but I honestly think it could be better in so many ways. The woman’s voice they chose for the Spanish course is very monotone and puts me to sleep. Also, there are too many phrases that were irrelevant. For example, I’M NOT GOING TO USE “I AM A POTATO” IN REAL LIFE. xD As a whole, I did enjoy it for a while, but now I know that there are better options for me. If you want to try out DuoLingo for yourself, go for it. If you already love it, that’s awesome! Personally, I don’t enjoy it now, but to each his own.
  • Memrise. You guys have heard me rave about this, but if you want to hear me get all excited about it again, I highly recommend that you get Memrise! It is the best one I’ve tried so far, all the best features are free, and there are so many languages to choose from. Please, if you have an Apple or Android phone, or if you’re interested in doing it on your PC (they have an online version, which is also free! – not sponsored!), definitely try it out!

That’s all for today, guys! (And at almost 2k words, I should certainly hope so, lol.) Let me know in the comments below:

What language/s are YOU learning?

thanks to jirah and elline for my signature! xx

Little Accomplishments – August 25th, 2017

Little Accomplishments – August 25th, 2017

What have you accomplished this week?

Hi guys! Welcome to this week’s Little Accomplishments!

I hope that you’re all doing well, and that your weekend has gotten off to a beautiful start! So, did you guys know that next Friday is September 1st??!! I truly cannot figure out where in the world 2017 is speeding off to! I mean, why is it in such a hurry? Haha!!

Whether your year has been a whirlwind or it couldn’t be dragging any slower, I hope that everyone’s last week of August is a great one. xx

Oh, and I wanted to add something that I noticed on my dashboard this morning – this post makes my 200th post on this blog!! 💖 thank you guys so much for coming along with me this far ☺️

Alright, let’s jump right in to this Little Accomplishments! And as always …

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

These past couple of weeks, I …

  • learned the major piano chords. (Yas!!!! For some reason, this took me quite a bit of time to look up online and figure out, but once the light bulb in my head lit up, I had them memorized within two days! I’m so happy! Minor chords, here I come.)

  • caught up on Spanish. (As always. It’s essential, important, and considerably time-consuming, lol!)

  • began learning Portuguese. (WHAT?! Cool, huh? I want to know the basics of Portuguese because 1) I’m interested in learning the differences between this language and Spanish, 2) I love learning new languages, and 3) I’d love to have a basic understanding of it in the event that I meet someone who speaks it! For now, I’m learning Brazilian Portuguese, but I’d be all for learning Portugal Portuguese at some point, too.)
  • got back into the swing of blogging. (After my blogging break, then battling strep throat, it took me longer than I would have wanted to catch up on all things blogging, but I’m finally feeling on top of everything again! I have lots of different post ideas, I’m caught up on blog reading, I’ve interviewed some bloggers, and I have met some lovely new people, too!)
  • watched Finding Dory. (It was soooo sweet, guys! Finding Nemo was the first movie I really ever loved – little 4-year-old me was obsessed with it! – and the kid in me really approves of how they handled this sequel so many years later. It’s funny, the animation’s great, and Dory was fantastic. I love her character!)
  • finished reading The Merchant of Venice. (Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. The love stories were great, but the main plot dragged and also made me kind of nervous. lol!)
  • got a new app to track water intake. (I stopped using Plant Nanny a while ago because it wouldn’t let me customize how much water I needed daily; they gave me a set, unattainable goal based on height and weight. :/ However, I found a new water tracking app that I’m enjoying using right now called, simply, Water Tracker!)
  • organized my Goodreads shelves. (I love having a place to see what books I’ve loved reading, as well as books I’m looking forward to reading someday! Everything had gotten a bit jumbled, so cleaning out and organizing the digital shelves on my Goodreads account was something I’ve been needing to do for a while.)

Comment what YOU’VE done this week down below – last Saturday through today!
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My Looking-Ahead List: 15 Exciting Things

My Looking-Ahead List: 15 Exciting Things

Why hello, everyone! Fancy meeting you here on this fine morning! Er well, it’s morning here for me, my apologies if you’re now getting tucked into bed, or something. Haha anyway! Today, I have a fun list post to share with you. Who doesn’t like posts with lists?? They’re my personal favorite to write, and they’re a joy to browse on others’ blogs, too.

This particular list was loads of fun to write, and the optimism it sprung within my heart couldn’t be beaten. I’m calling it My Looking-Ahead List: 15 Exciting Things. I had hoped to come up with twenty-five things, actually, but 15 was all I could gather at the moment! If you’re interested in composing a list like this yourself, please do so! I’d love to read it; just leave a link to the post in the comments below. x

Looking ahead to what will bring us joy and excitement in life is a great way to stay happy and positive. 🙂

Let’s jump right into this!

I’m excited about …

  1. Graduating from high school! Next summer, I will have officially finished with my schooling, and that freedom honestly sounds SO amazing haha! I don’t have it poorly off right now, or anything – I’m content with what my life is like – but I can’t stop myself from being excited about it. xx
  2. Becoming fluent in Spanish! It’s gonna happen one day, I assure you of that. I have no idea when, but it is on my heart to have as full of an understanding of Spanish as I can. So strong is this calling that I’ve tried to pick up other languages alongside learning Spanish and it has not worked out, haha!
  3. Getting my first job! As I’ve been looking into applying at places to work since I was fifteen, the waiting has not been easy lol, but I know that the Lord has beautiful, perfect timing. The first place I’ll work will not only be perfect for me, but right in His plan, too.
  4. Reaching 1,000 followers on my blog! Many of you know that I’ve had multiple blogs in the past, none of which I keep up with now (aside from my book review blog, self-plug!), but I’ve never gotten this much feedback and response on any of them – combined! I know I’ll get the biggest grin on my face when I get the 1K FOLLOWERS NOTIFICATION – no idea if I’ll celebrate; probably not. How do you think we should celebrate? I’d love to include you guys!
  5. Hearing Jordan Feliz’s next album for the first time! He’s gonna have to come out with a new album at some point. He just has to. But since his current one came out last year, there’s low chance of this happy thing occurring soon. ;-;
  6. Getting to meet my new little sibling! We’re pretty sure it’s a boy at this point, and the name my parents have for him is just PERFECT (I’ll share it with you guys when we’re positive of the gender), and I can’t wait to meet him this winter!
  7. Finishing the A-to-Z Reading Challenge I’m doing! I invented it myself, actually; I’m on a mission to read 26 books, with titles in alphabetical order, all of which I’ve never read before. I’m currently on the letter ‘J’ and still going strong. I’m not sure if I’ll find books for ‘X’ or ‘Z,’ but I’ll make it happen. lol
  8. Baking an apple pie! This has been on my unwritten bucket list for SO long, but I have yet to do it. I plan to this fall, actually! It’s such a staple part of autumn for me, and to eat one that I’ve made myself would be absolutely special.
  9. Getting to my blogiversary! I’m pretty darn sure I’ll still be posting by January – I really hope I will be – but hey, things change. I’m definitely hoping that works out! Blogiversaries are so much fun!
  10. Fully writing my Mayan/Tikal story! I work on stories in bursts, and I wasn’t as productive with it on my blogging break as I’d hoped, as you guys know by now. Either way, I really hope and pray that it becomes a full novel one day, because I have sooo many ideas, and it’s the first story I really feel like I could weave into one driven by a gripping plot – a first for me.
  11. Starting to study famous figures and time periods in history! I’m really planning to do this next summer once I’m done with school, as I’ll have more time on my hands, and I can’t wait to get started with that. I’m fascinated by so many people throughout history, as well as specific time periods. Just a few off the tip of my tongue are Alexander Hamilton, Ancient Egypt, Marquis de Lafayette, American History (obviously lol), Ancient Greece, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Boyle, etc!
  12. Getting better at cooking! I tend to enjoy baking treats and desserts more, but the handful of times I’ve made dinner for my family has made me happy, so I really should pursue expanding my knowledge on cooking over baking!
  13. Reading the other four books in the Heavenly Daze series! Like I mentioned yesterday, the first book in the series was absolutely amazing, and I know that the rest of the books will be fantastic, too!
  14. Learning to play a full song on the piano! If I can just find the chords to Jordan Feliz’s How Long, I would learn them SO quickly and then my life would be complete hahah
  15. Moving to a new place! This will most likely happen next year, but I’m still excited about and looking forward to it! We need to move ❤ the house and neighborhood situation is often upsetting where we are now.

That’s it for my list! As you could probably tell, it was a mixture of long- and short-term goals; I knew that it would be easier for me to do that than to break it up into two posts! 😂 I’ll probably do a second part to this post when I have more exciting aspirations to share, but for now, I’ll leave you guys to enjoy your Saturday!

How about you?

What are YOU looking forward to?

Blogging Challenge – Day 20: Favorite Apps

Blogging Challenge – Day 20: Favorite Apps

Hi guys! I hope that your Saturday has gotten off to an awesome start. Thanks for coming by today’s prompt! Today, I’m writing about some of my recent favorite apps. (I don’t have an Etsy shop, so today’s actual prompt isn’t going to work for me lol! I hope you enjoy.)

You can read about what this challenge is here. And make sure to check out Cheila’s and Angela’s posts for today, too – we’re all doing the challenge together!

Favorite Apps

(all of these are available for free in the App Store. Not sponsored.)

Memrise. Since the end of December ’16, I’ve been learning Spanish with this app. I finished the first three levels and learned over a thousand words, and now I’m moving on to Spanish 4! It is, by far, the best language learning program I’ve used so far – and it’s free. I can’t wait to complete all of their Spanish courses – and I’ve even checked out their French 1 course, too, which also looks awesome!

Pocket Planes. I found this in the App Store a year or two ago, and not only is it a fun, addictive game – you can fly your little planes all over the world! – it has also taught me soooo much about the major cities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East – which is cool! Up until this game, I wasn’t very interested in world geography, lol. I’ve unlocked something like 60 different airports in those different regions; I love learning all the different names! (Although the actual pronunciation of them is way beyond me.) When you start the game, you pick what region you want to unlock airports in, and it only gets more fun from there. The graphics are my favorite part; they’re so cute!

Plant Nanny. It’s what finally got me to drink more water every day! You pick what little virtual plant you’d like to grow, and as you drink water, you can log that progress in the app, which then feeds your little plant. Make sure not to go too long without drinking; your plant could end up dying on you, haha

Pinterest. I’ve loved this website since I was eleven years old, but as of recently, it has been so helpful to have on my phone while looking at recipes, as well as inspirational quotes, blogging inspiration, and mission trip dreaming/planning!

Dancing Line. My brother introduced this one to me on Wednesday! It is an epic, fun music strategy game (reminds me of Guitar Hero, which is my all-time favorite game) where you tap to the beat of piano music, as well as violins and cellos, to lead your trail through a maze. It’s kind of hard to explain. You should try it out! I can’t get enough of it!!!

Thanks for reading, guys! I highly recommend all of these apps; I appreciate each and every one of them. How about you?

What are a few of YOUR favorite apps?

— Maggie

Blogging Challenge – Day 16: On My To-Do List

Blogging Challenge – Day 16: On My To-Do List

I don’t know about you, but I loooooove lists. Whether they’re of things I want to do, things I need to do, or things I’ve already done, they’re so tidy, satisfying, and orderly! I just love them, haha!

The little list I’ve come up with to share for today’s prompt will actually help me to be quite productive this week. You’ll probably see the outcome of these to-dos on this Friday’s (or next Friday’s) Little Accomplishments!

You can read about what this challenge is here. And make sure to check out Cheila’s and Angela’s posts for today, too – we’re all doing the challenge together!

My To-Do List

( ) memorize the multiples of twelve (up to 12 x 10). At the lovely point in my schooling when I should have had them memorized, I took the lazy road and chose quick multiplication problems in the margins of my work paper over that memorization. I couldn’t stand math for a while, but I deeply regret this crazy decision now, lol. I can still make up for lost time!

( ) memorize the Spanish words for “first, second, third,” up to “tenth.” I attempted to first learn them on Memrise, but it’s going to take more repetition than that, apparently. 🙂

( ) plan a week-long blog post series to do this summer. You guys will be hearing more about this (and even getting to participate!) in the weeks to come!

( ) get the 700+ pictures off my phone and safely onto our computer. I’m freaking out a little because our PC won’t accept my phone when I plug it in because of some software problem, or something!! AUGH!

( ) finish reading Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. It’s for a reading challenge I’ll be writing about probably sometime this fall!

( ) get more posts ready ahead of time for this blogging challenge. I have a love/hate relationship with this challenge. Pro: It gives me content to post. Con: It gives me too much content to post.

Aaaand that’s it for today’s prompt! Phew! I’d better start getting some stuff done. I’ll let you know on my next Little Accomplishments post if I conquered this list, or not! 😀

What are a few things on YOUR to-do list?

— Maggie

Four Months of Dreaming of Guatemala

Four Months of Dreaming of Guatemala

The title of this post has a double meaning.

The first one is about this blog; I’ve been publishing weekly blog posts on Dreaming of Guatemala for four, full months now! I’ve enjoyed the experience immensely, and I’m looking forward to the next four months to come. ❤

But the reason I wanted to write this post was actually because of the second meaning; I have known, for four months now, that I will serve the Lord in Guatemala one day. On and off since that beautiful evening in January, I have been ldreaming of Guatemala – literally.

At many different points in these past several weeks, I’ve felt like all of the missions thoughts I’ve been having, the Guatemalan references I’ve been seeing, and the frequent Spanish lessons I’ve been taking were part of some awesome, beautiful dream. But then I realize:

This is my reality!!

I snap back into the present and cannot stop myself from smiling. In today’s post, I’d like to touch on the three things I’ve mentioned above. So, let’s get to it.

  1. Missions thoughts. For most of my life up until this point, I really saw myself as a girl accustomed to all the comforts of home. Whether that’s a hot shower, a home-cooked meal, a bedroom all to myself, or a living space devoid of insects, I’m used to all of those things, and I appreciate them immensely – for a while, I knew that it was impossible for me to be content without them. Throughout 2017, however, I’ve seen myself learning to be okay in new situations, willing to try new things, and go without the things I’m used to. I don’t know what my situation will be like exactly on the mission field – maybe it will be more comfortable, or less comfortable, than I’m anticipating. But regardless of that, I can clearly see that I’m being prepared for something yet to come. ❤
  2. Guatemalan references. Have you ever learned a new word, or read about an event in history that you hadn’t studied before, or heard about a new restaurant in town – it can be anything new! – and then, suddenly, you start seeing it everywhere you go? This is what has been happening to me in reference to Guatemala over the past four months. No matter where I go, under all sorts of circumstances, I keep seeing Guatemala. The country’s national bird, the Resplendent Quetzal, has been popping up everywhere, especially – on book covers, calendars, board games, different websites online … *shakes head* It has been absolutely amazing getting to see the Lord at work, verifying for me that my future in Guatemala is very real.
  3. Spanish lessons. In the five full months that I’ve been increasing my knowledge of the Spanish language on my favorite app, Memrise, I have memorized over a thousand words and phrases. I’m taking any chance I get to challenge my knowledge, especially with my family – I’ll ask them a question in Spanish, and when they look at my like I’m crazy, I’ll happily translate it for them. haha! I know that my love for the Spanish language is a gift from the Lord, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the learning process. I pray that, in the years to come, my confidence in talking to native speakers will be strengthened. ❤

This is what my life is like right now: learning Spanish, growing accustomed to and learning to be okay with circumstances that may be out of my comfort zone, and trusting in the Lord to lead and guide me down the path that is my life. The Guatemalan children are often on my mind, and the country of Guatemala itself is often in my prayers. I act on what the Lord shows me, and for now, I am content and very happy where He has me. ❤

— Maggie

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

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