Language Challenge 180: Week 13

by Corey · 9 comments

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Welcome to Week 13 !

If you missed the activities these last few weeks, go to the Weekly Activity Page and click on the activities you missed. (Remember: if you aren’t yet signed up, then do so at the link at the top of this page!)

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! Everyone can enter this giveaway, so tell your friends, family and children’s teachers!

And don’t forget to keep sharing resources, support and suggestions at the Language Challenge 180 language pages! The more information you can add there, the better!

The Key to Becoming a Polyglot Is …

I finally made another Language Challenge 180 video! I had wanted to make one every week (or at least every other week) but the time has just flown by! I will try and make them more often during this second half of Language Challenge 180.

In today’s video, I talk about an essential element in becoming a polyglot. It is straight from the book Babel No More, so you can be sure that it is solid advice!

This Week’s Activity

  • Individuals: This week notice which elements in your native language, and/or the language you are learning, bring you pleasure. Is it using your language(s) to chat with friends? Is it being able to read books in the original? Maybe it is when you feel connected to a foreign (or your native) culture? Take some time this week to really notice how it feels using your target language – and then try and make those pleasurable moments happen more often!
  • Parents: Try and identify which things bring your children pleasure when they are using their language(s) – or help them to find this out. You don’t have to ask your children directly. Just notice which things your children like to do and try and figure out why, exactly. They don’t like doing workbooks? Maybe it is because the work is too easy or too hard? Maybe they would like workbooks if the level were different? Or maybe they just don’t like workbooks at all but love watching videos in the target language? Maybe your children don’t like watching videos when you pause to ask questions. Maybe you could talk about the videos afterwards in more organic ways so that your children work on their language skills without feeling quizzed? Notice these nuances about your children’s language-learning this week and see if you can help make it more pleasurable for you and them!

It can be hard to identify exactly what feels pleasurable and why when it comes to languages. For example, maybe you/your children enjoy working on grammar rules or practicing flash cards. Just because others say that things like this are boring doesn’t mean that they can’t give you/your children pleasure! Don’t let what others say interfere with what you enjoy in learning a language – each of us is different and unique!

Studies show that we feel good when we feel that we have accomplished something we wanted to accomplish. If this is true, then maybe the key is in setting up small goals for you/your children so that everyone feels wonderful once the goals are met. Just remember that whatever you do, it should be something that you can sustain over the long haul. So make your goals small, incremental and painless.

Tell us in the comment section below what brings you (and/or your children) pleasure in using/learning language(s). Do you/your children enjoy most all activities as long as it involves the target language? Or maybe certain ones bring more pleasure than others? Share your thoughts!

Stay tuned for the Friday check-in email and new giveaway!

1 Tracey May 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm

My kids and I love to interact with our friends and neighbours. As a pastor I enjoyed sharing the Word of God in the language of the people and helping them to deal with life’s issues and sharing with them in life’s milestones. We made a deliberate decision when we came to Bolivia 7.5 years ago to not mix with any English speakers and to saturate ourselves in Spanish and mix in our community etc and it has paid off as our kids all speak Spanish like Bolivians and we maintained English (or rather spanglish at home except when we had visitors). The older two have completed their schooling both here and by Correspondence from NZ so have not lost much English. Our littlies are due to move to NZ andd face their first challenge in using English to communicate daily and I face the challenge of keeping their Spanish alive. We also enjoy watching movies in the original language – when we can watch Spanish movies it is great!!

2 Alex May 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Wow! We only served missions part time, but in doing so , the adventure was great, and really showed a need to learn languages besides our own. I will be praying for you and your family Tracey as you all move in God’s new plan for your life. I find that movies are the best thing for our little Chinese / German/Spanish learners. The idea of eliminating the English speaking elements in environment was definitely wise:)

3 Donovan Nagel June 1, 2012 at 1:55 am

G’day Tracey and Alex!

Just a question for you being believers – do/did you do much reading of the Bible in your target languages particularly in the early stages?

Even though the language tends to be a little more archaic (especially with Arabic), I got a lot out of reading the Bible in other languages. I’m shopping around for an Irish Gaelic one at the moment.

@Corey – thanks for the great video! I loved Babel No More too 🙂

4 Tracey May 30, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Thanks Alex, sounds like you have a full on challenge with 3 but obviously 4 languages. I certainly hope in the future that our littlies will learn Maori (NZ) and maybe even later Quechua (Bolivia) and I would love ot learn along with them. The big kids are both learning Quechua and doing extremely well (but in a classroom setting which is new to them) at least they also know a lot of people who speak it. They are both very gifted and pick up new languages – Portuguese, Hindu, Tamil, Latin … very easily. Definitely the English elimination was the best decision we made!! God bless you and your family.

5 Emma May 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm

It’s taken a long time but learning how to pronounce what we read in Gaelic is coming along, phew! Having so many people who entertain my questions, who are our friends is awesome! Forgetting some of what we learn and having to repeat it a few times can be frustrating!

6 Gale June 1, 2012 at 11:25 am

One thing pops right to mind. Yesterday we were playing uno, and when I couldn’t play and cards I would say to my son “Nesecito una carta.” Because I went a long time without being able to play a card I kept having to say “Nesecito una carta, nesecito una carta, esecito una carta…” again and again. The kids started laughing out loud when I said it. It was such fun.

7 Tracey June 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Hi Donavan,

We all got a Spanish Bible – in easy language initially to help us learn and I still use my slightly more complex one each day and write my notes in Spanish. We will be attending a Spanish church back in NZ. My son is the best spanish speaker and reader and is training to be a teacher here in Bolivia – he is always reading classics and textbooks and novels and history etc. If it weren’t for his passport he is almost Bolivian now. My eldest daughter is also at university and will be staying here. Definitely recommend reading the Bible in your target language esp. if you know it well it will open your eyes to different cultural slants on familiar stories.

8 Becky Smith June 2, 2012 at 6:13 am

We also live overseas and have read the Bible in Russian, although I find it difficult to do so, because the language is so different than basic communication. I have tried to immerse our children in Russian by sending them to local school, but it has been not a good situation for my oldest son, who has Asperger’s (slightly) and my daughter who is dyslexic (severely). They have spent a year in America which has been very good for them. My dream was always to immerse them in the language, but that hasn’t worked as well as I had hoped–they are magnetized to the foreign community. For the first four years (ages 3- 7 for my son), I kept him away from foreigners as much as I could, but he still hated the Russian language–I think it was because he couldn’t communicate as well as he would have liked.

As far as what has worked–it has worked to do interesting things, like art, in the Russian language. I have tried to throw as many of these interesting situations at my children as I can–although it has been very difficult to find teachers who are qualified and interesting! Since I am not a native speaker, I cower at speaking with my children (and my oldest son doesn’t like it when we switch languages on him) because I’m afraid of my grammar. However, I have been encouraged by the locals themselves, since they have told me that my Russian is good enough for me to work with my children. I am thankful that my daughter has been receptive to this, and we work on Russian every day together. Even though it is grammar, she doesn’t mind and knows there is a start and and end point. The key is to keep it consistent and in the child’s expectation. This is something we do everyday–sit down and complete one or two exercises which will take anywhere between 30 – 45 minutes. That’s how we’ve continued with Russian this year, even though we’re in America. And, I talk to her in Russian the entire time we work together, even though she often responds to me in English (and this is OK).

9 Jenny June 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

The most pleasurable experience for me in language learning is conversing with others who speak French. Unfortunately, it is hard to find others to speak with where I live at the present time. I lived in West Africa for a time and really miss the daily French conversations I had when I lived there.
My children seem to enjoy music most in their language learning time. They love to dance and sometimes seem along as we listen to French songs.

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