Most of the fun of learning a language is the hope that you’ll one day be able to use it to communicate in another country. Having a goal in mind when learning makes the work seem more meaningful and more alive.
If you’re looking for ways to help bring a language to life for your students and get them excited about learning, check out these few suggestions!
- Cook A Meal: Everyone likes to eat, especially students! Connecting over a meal is a great way for students to get to know both the classmates and the professor. Choose a meal that truly represents the country whose language you’re learning and be sure to have everyone pitch in. Encourage students to use their language skills to the best of their abilities while they’re cooking and eating the dinner.
- Visit/Move To Country: Tell your students to do everything in their power to live in or at least visit the country whose language they’re learning. Traveling to the country is especially important for students that plan to live there one day permanently and wish to speak the language fluently. It’s as important as finding a job, arranging moving companies, getting a visa or finding a place to live. Though it’s expensive, tell your students to make it a priority, and do whatever they can to make the trip!
- Start A Club: Starting a club with other people learning the same language is helpful for developing a student’s comprehension and speaking abilities. Encourage students to get together and start a weekly culture club that meets to watch movies or listen to music in the language they’re learning, speak the language, watch news or read blogs.It’s a great way to learn about the culture and learn the language simultaneously. They can act out certain scenarios like ordering food, shopping for clothes, hailing a taxi and giving directions or getting around a city.
- Connect With A Native Speaker: If possible, have your students use social media to connect with someone who has spoken the language since birth. Using Skype, Facebook or Twitter can help your students learn to use the language the way it’s used by native speakers instead of how it’s used in a textbook. They’ll also learn helpful tips about the country, in case they ever decide to travel or re-locate.
- Teach Someone Else: The true test of knowledge is whether or not your students can re-teach what they’ve learned. Do they have a friend family member that’s always wanted to know the language they’re learning? A younger sibling or cousin? Encourage students to share what they’ve learned with others. They’ll reinforce what they’ve learned and spread the goodness to others in the process.
These tips can help the language feel more alive to your students, making it easier to learn, and easier to retain. Bringing the language to life isn’t hard to do, but your students have to be motivated enough to follow through.
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