Top Tips to Make Learning a Language a Family Affair

We’ve all heard the age-old expression, “We are the company we keep.” That’s relevant for friendships, surely, but what about family? While we can’t control our family members, their personalities, or their actions, we may have some say in what activities we all do together. With that in mind, in your new language learning pursuit, why not consider including your family in your endeavours? Not only could it make you grow as a family unit, but it could be a fun way to share a new experience and better everyone involved. Plus, you’ve instant accountability partners.

Family portait

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Interested in the idea? Here are 5 things you can do to include your family in on your language pursuits:

1. Participate in classes together once per week

One of the easiest ways to jump into learning another language with everyone in your family is to start taking classes. This is especially easy if everyone in your family is already at the same level. Incorporating language classes into your weekly or monthly family routine is as simple as beginning a new after-school activity or looking for a Saturday morning outing together. You never know how much this may bring you closer as a couple, or encourage language learning among your youngest family members.

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2. Have “language nights” or other fun activities at home

Outside of the more formal studying options, simply having fun language-themed evenings or family nights at home or with friends is another great way to develop new lingual passions. Due to the magnitude of resources available online and in other places, it’s incredibly easy to find games, videos, songs, or even films that you can enjoy together – all while learning!

Board games

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3. Consider a foreign language babysitter or tutor

Another great option (for families with children) is to hire a foreign language tutor or nanny to work with your family in the evenings, on weekends, or during the summer. It’s a great way to not only encourage language learning at home, but also to contribute to your community or offer a job to an exchange student. It may even be pleasantly surprising just how quickly your children start to pick up the language by immersion.

4. Learn a language together through podcasts or songs on family trips and outings

For a more casual learning option, consider using podcasts, songs, or other audio methods to practise language when running errands, travelling on family vacations, or otherwise in the car or spending time at home. Not only are these options great for listening to native speakers, but they can also be educational in other ways. Furthermore, singing songs is a great way to learn vocabulary without actively realising it!

Family night

Photo via Flickr

5. Set up a family reward system for individual accomplishments of learning milestones

Once you’ve implemented different ways of incorporating language learning into your family routine, also consider using some sort of reward system to encourage positive language-learning behaviour, and celebrate the achievement of milestones. Not only can these reward systems serve the purpose of positive reinforcement, but they can also bring your family closer together in the pursuit of knowledge – which is always something to be acknowledged!

How do you make language learning a family affair? Share your ideas in the comments section below!