7 Easy Ways to Teach Your Child – and Yourself! – a Foreign Language

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March 4, 2014

Are you looking to teach your children some of the basic Spanish you learned in college? Will you finally be putting those high school language skills to the test on an upcoming trip?  Or perhaps you just want to take on the challenge of learning a new language? Learning a new language, or brushing up on one you’ve already studied, can be daunting, but with a little persistence and a some creativity you can turn the experience into a fun adventure. Here are seven easy ways to teach your child – and yourself! – a new foreign language

1. Make a game of it. Language teachers know that one of the best ways to memorize vocab and grammar skills in a new language is to make a game of it. Check out this list of fun games you can play in a variety of languages.

2. Label Your Home. Write the names of common household items in your target language and then go on a treasure hunt around the home, labeling each item. Google can help you with any words you don’t know. Leave the labels in place and every time you pick up the item throughout the week, practice saying the word aloud.

3. Listen to music. Check out the latest tunes in your target language by plugging into Shoutcast International. Search by country, and listen to what’s on the air. Research the song lyrics online at so you can sing along.

4. Watch movies. Download a movie in the target language with English subtitles. Here’s a list of the 2013 Oscar language contenders for best foreign film.

5. Join a local meet-up group. Most major (and even some smaller) U.S. cities play host to a Meet-Up group where you can practice your language skills with both native and non-native speakers. Some allow you to bring the kids, or you can opt to bond over drinks with adults. Join people who speak Spanish, French or those who less widely spoken languages, from Slovak to Swahili.

6. Take a refresher course, in person or online. Sign up for a language refresher course, at your local community college, cultural center, or online. Skype makes it possible to work with private tutor from the comfort of your own home; check out Verbal Planet and Live Lingua to practice your language skills via Skype.

7. Download a language flashcards app. Practice your language skills while waiting at the doctor’s office or over breakfast, with a little help from your smartphone. Flashcards+ app is allows you to easily create and study flashcards on your smartphone. You can also access tens of millions of decks of pre-made decks for free and Flashcards+ can even talk with a human voice synthesizer in 22 languages in multiple dialects and both genders

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