Language Challenge 180: Week 8

by Corey · 3 comments

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Welcome to Week 8! If you missed the activities these last few weeks, go to the Weekly Activity Page and click on the activities you missed.

Did you remember to check in on Friday? If not, go to the check in page to check in and then make sure to go check out our current giveaway! You don’t want to miss what we are giving away this week!

For those of you who have been on board since the beginning, don’t forget to keep checking your language pages! Let others know about the resources you are finding and/or ones that you are still looking for.

10 Minutes at a Time

Last week we talked about figuring out how to make language learning fun for you and/or your children for the long haul. If going about it the slow and methodical (e.g. the same things every single day) aren’t your style, then that is fine. Jump around a bit and try different things. The key is to make sure you are doing something each day. My suggestion is to have a good, solid, methodical approach that you follow most of the time but you do a bunch of fun things around that.

Many people think that they absolutely must sit down for an extended period of time for their language learning. This is not necessarily true! If you are someone who likes to do things in smaller bundles of time, then today’s post, Technology to Help Children Learn a New Language: 10 Minutes at a Time, is perfect for you and your family! Even though the examples are for helping children learn a language, the ideas and tips can be used for anyone of any age.

The main point of this and the previous post, Helping Children Learn a New Language: 10 Minutes at a Time, is that we can do a lot with only 10 minutes! We can read a chapter in a book or practice flash cards. We can watch a YouTube video or write in our journal. The ideas are endless! Stay tuned for more “10 minutes at a time” posts from Franck and Cristina. We are so delighted to have them writing these great articles for us!

This Week’s Activities

This week’s activities focus on things we can do with only 10 minutes of time. The first one is a brainstorming activity that you really should take the time to do this week! The second activity you can do all week long – you only need 10 minutes to do it (but spend more time if you can!).

Activity #1: Your 10 minute options:

  • Individuals: Take some time this week to write down as many language-learning activities you can do in 10 minute increments. Write down everything you can think of and then set the list aside. The next day, read the list and see if you can add anything else. Once you are pretty sure that the list is complete, mark the activities that you enjoy doing the most and scratch off the activities that you hate.
    Pick out your top five favorite 10 minute activities from your list and see if you can do each of them at least once this week (and if you can do them more often, then even better!). We’d love it if  you could share your 10 minute language-learning activities with us in the comments below!
  • Parents: Do the same as for individuals (above) but do the brainstorming with your children. Ask your children what language-learning activities they would like to do that only take 10 minutes to do. Provide your children with different ideas (since it might be hard for them to know how long 10 minutes is and what options are out there). Go through Franck and Cristina’s posts here and here for ideas to suggest to your children. Once you have a list of your children’s top five favorite 10 minute language-learning activities, find ways to get your children to do them during the week.

Activity #2: Picture Analysis:

  • Individuals: Describing pictures is a wonderful way to use our new language(s) in fun and productive ways. We can focus on color, content, actions, feelings, movements, nouns, verbs and more. Below is a list of pictures. Your activity this week is to pick one picture each day and to do any of the following:
    (1) Write down what you see in the picture. Write as much as you can!
    (2) Describe what you see in the picture out loud to yourself, your spouse or a friend.
    (3) Provide a caption to go with the picture (write it out or speak it out loud).
    (4) Create a story that relates to the picture, e.g. “One day four men got together in a cafe in Rome, Italy. They each had an espresso and discussed…” (write it down or tell it out loud to yourself, your spouse or a friend).
  • Parents: Do the same as for individuals (above) but have your children pick the picture and choose what they want to do (see the list of 4 ideas above). If your children do the activity out loud, then write down what they say! Your children will love reading what they said when they are older! You can add some of the following ideas for what your children can talk/write about the photographs:
    (1) How do you think the people in the photo are feeling?
    (2) What do you think is going to happen next in the photo?
    (3) What colors do you see in the photo?
    (4) How many shapes can you identify?

Here are the photos for you to use this week:

Photo #1: Create a story. Where are these men? What are they talking about? How do they know each other? Are they planning something? What language(s) are they speaking together? Where do they purchase their clothing?


Photo #2: Make a meal. What food items can you identify? What kind of meal could you make with them? What are their colors? Where were these things purchased? What day of the week is it? Who is coming over for dinner? What will you prepare for dinner?


Photo #3: Take a flight. Where are you headed? What time of year is it? Who are you going to visit? Who are you traveling with? How long is your flight? When did your flight leave and when will you arrive? How long will you stay once you arrive? Which airline are you flying with? Who is sitting next to you? What did you talk about during the flight?


Photo #4: At the cafe. What are you drinking? What colors can you see? Are you waiting for someone? What did you just write in your journal? What did the bill come to? Will you leave a tip for the waiter/waitress? What time of day is it? Which city and country are you in?


Photo #5: On the beach. What are these children building? Where are they in this picture? What is going to happen next? How old are the children and what languages do they speak? Are the children on holiday? Where do they live? What is the season? What time of day is it?


We’d love it if you’d like to tell us in the comments below which photo you enjoyed using for your activity this week! What did you write for your favorite photo?

That’s it for today! Stay tuned for the Friday check-in email and new giveaway!

Photo credits: Photo #1: foxypar4, photo #2: flippinyank, photo #3: Rob!, photo #4: John Althouse Cohen, photo #5: bowler1996p.

1 Andrew April 24, 2012 at 8:17 am

I am using photo #4
ana ashrab ahwah i am drinking coffee. ana ura aleshiyeh azraq w aleshiyeh ebyedu. (i see blue and white things. aiwa ana shejetm3 sadiqayeh min msr. (yes i am meeting with a friend from egypt) ana katabt aneny uhibu al-russiya.(i wrote that i love russia) 5 liraat almsry. (5 egyptian pounds.) aiwa heya kenet mumtezah. yes she was excellent. as-sa3h 3rba asedeeashr. 16:00. ana fi rio de janeiro albrazil (i am in brazil)

2 Francesca April 30, 2012 at 3:19 am

Number 2. It helps a lot…sometimes I make drawings of the words I’m learning in order to remember… taking pictures could be a nice idea….

3 Tracey May 14, 2012 at 11:32 am

We used this idea with our big kids when we were first learning spanish 10 years ago and it is great for learners. My little girls love to talk about pictures too.

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