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Welcome to Week 14 !
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!
What Are You Afraid Of?
It is never to late to learn a language. Never!
Studies show that children who learn more than one language will have a good chance of picking up a native accent in all of their languages. But even with that, there are many adults who have learned a language later in life and have barely any accent (if at all).
The main reason that I believe we should learn a language when we are young is because we don’t know that we are “learning” anything. We didn’t know that we ware “learning” a language when we were little, just as we didn’t know that we were “learning” to walk as we tried it out over and over and over again.
Adults are usually very self-conscious about practicing their new-found language skills in front of others (myself included). Sure, I can play around and have a great time but deep down I hope that I am saying things at least relatively accurately. I say this from experience… here am I attempting to speak in French (which is one language I have been slowly working on during Language Challenge 180) and stumble right from the beginning:
Children don’t know that there is a “right” and “wrong” way to say things so they don’t get self conscious about the things that we adults do. They have a purpose when they say something: “I want that apple!” “I have a wet diaper!” “I’m hungry!”
If our children get the desired response and/or thing, then they are happy and will most likely say the same thing again – this is how they learn language. It doesn’t matter to them whether what they said was grammatically correct, what matters is that the desired things happen when they say certain things. As they get older, they start to realize the power that language has in expressing feelings, thoughts and so much more!
An important step in our language learning journey is that we do the best we can to get past our fear of speaking in front of others in our new language(s). An excellent way to do this is by video taping ourselves.
I know, I know. The taping part is fine. It’s the playback that is excruciatingly painful! Here I am last year while doing Language Refresh 101 (I am still working on my German during Language Challenge 180!) and I squirm while watching it as well as my attempt at French above:
But I highly encourage you to video tape yourself! Mainly because once you have done it (and then posted it on your YouTube page) you will feel a big weight of anxiety lift off your shoulders. You will have done it! Your greatest fear will have been been overcome!
This Week’s Activity
- Individuals: Video tape yourself speaking in your target language. Then watch it. Show it to your spouse, friends, family and pets. Video tape yourself talking about different things. You can read something out loud if you aren’t very familiar with the target language.If you have a YouTube account, then upload it and share it with us! Or, contact me and we can work out a way for you to send it to me so that I can post it on our Multilingual Living YouTube page!
- Parents: Video tape your children speaking in the target language (which may or may not be your native language). Show your children the videos you make of them speaking! Most likely they will be fascinated and want you to make more videos (even if they were hesitant the first time you took one).Share your video(s) with us so that we can be inspired by what you are doing! Upload them to your own YouTube page or contact me and we’ll find a way for you to email them to me so that I can add them to the Multilingual Living YouTube page!
As some inspiration… here are my children this past Christmas decorating their gingerbread house (notice how they switch back and forth between English and German, I love it!):
Tip: If you have a device that can record your children speaking, give it to them and let them do their own recordings of each other. Just let them know that you want some videos of them speaking in their target language! It is amazing how much fun kids will have when they are video taping themselves!
Stay tuned for the Friday check-in email and new giveaway!