Language Challenge 180: Week 15 Check-In

by Corey · 17 comments

This page is for Language Challenge 180 participants only. Sign up now to join this event!

What Are Your Top Interests?

Did you find any websites, magazines, books or videos about your and/or your children’s hobbies in the target language? If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, then check out the Week 15 post to find out. It is a fantastic way to be motivated to use our languages!

Even if we don’t understand everything that is written, the link between something we feel a fondness for (hobbies, sports, activities, etc.) and our target language is powerful. In fact, it is one of the strongest motivators for sticking with language learning.

Many don’t realize how emotional language learning really is. The more our language learning is linked with pleasurable activities and hobbies, the stronger our brain will link our target language with pleasure. In fact, we will actually feel a similar pleasure down the road just by using these languages again! Our brain will associate the two and want more such pleasurable experiences.

Here are some ideas for how to link pleasurable interests with language learning: 

  • If you like watching sports, watch it in the target language.
  • Read about the latest knitting patterns at an online knitting website in the target language.
  • Do easy crossword puzzles in the target language (find children’s ones to start!).
  • Watch documentaries about a topic that interests you in the target language.
  • Snuggle on the sofa with your favorite tea while reading a book in the target language.

Today’s Check-In Activity

  • Check-In Activity: In the comment section below, tell us what your and/or your children’s hobbies, interests and/or favorite activities are. These don’t need to have anything to do with language learning. These are simply things that give your personal live meaning. Maybe you/your children like to knit or draw or play soccer or swim? Maybe you enjoy reading mystery novels or making home-made jewelry and your children enjoy reading Calvin and Hobbes. Tell us!
  • Giveaway: After you leave a comment below, head over to the current giveaway and enter! Once you check in, you can enter! It is another fantastic giveaway prize!


Don’t forget to visit the Multilingual Living Forum to ask a question, start a discussion or give someone else some support. You do NOT have to log in to post there. We encourage you to check out the Language Challenge 180 section as well as the other sections. And come check us out at Pinterest! We’d love to share with you there!

Have you checked on your target language pages lately? Add comments for new products/tips/advice/conversations that you have on your mind!

Keep an eye out for your next email which will arrive on Monday! Keep up the fantastic work!


1 Andrew June 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm

great tips!!!

2 Mary Kay June 16, 2012 at 12:52 am

Right now, my girl loves puzzles. My Mom just showed up with like three puzzles that have the names of the pictures in both French and English. Now, I know you’re thinking, WHAT? I thought you were working on Bambara. Well, if you ever find a bilingual puzzle that’s in Bambara, in a 99 cent store somewhere, please let me know. LOL

She also loves looking at pictures, so we regularly put the photos from her last trip to Mali up on the TV and talk about what’s going on in the photos in Bambara. It helps to remind her, of her family in Mali, the good times she’s had there, and what Bambara sounds like. It’s so cool to see her face light up when she remembers. Like the other day I put a Malian bracelet on her that she received in Mali from her grandmother. She immediately looked at it and said, “Natou” which is her name for Sirantou, my husband’s mother. It’s small, but she’s only two, and I just love to see her make these connections.

She also loves playgrounds and parks, so we have connected with several Malian/West African families in our neighborhood, and hang out in the park, so the park is beginning to have a Bambara theme to it as well.

3 Petra June 16, 2012 at 2:03 am

Linking learning with pleasure has actually been the only type of learning I have been doing during this MLC.

I try to read sites on language learning in various languages, then there`s natural cosmetics mostly in French, cookie recipes, home design sites, and so on…
But my favourite way of immersing into a language remains through a good (subtitled) movie.

Turning the pages of a new, beautifully smelling language learning textbook and exploring the topics, methods and characters is linked to a pretty high state of pleasure as well, though.

4 Alex June 16, 2012 at 5:07 am

Oh, reading is definitely up on my list. Then music and little videos. I felt my first connection to German through music,and then encouraged by my German friends who are my age. They are coming in a month,so our whole house is in a flurry ,as we talk,video,and email each other. This relationship has made the other children open up to German /German culture a lot better then bribing or prodding. ( both bad habits) The ” Germanization” of Alex and siblings is is amazing .

5 Jane June 16, 2012 at 5:34 am

One thing I enjoy doing is cooking especially trying new Indian dishes. So I’ve been listening to cooking videos in Hindi while I am in the kitchen. It took a while though to find some decent ones that weren’t in English. As it is an area I am interested in, some of the language I am already familiar with.

6 Seana June 16, 2012 at 5:41 am

For my kids, it’s easy–They like watching cartoons, which I never allow unless it’s in Spanish or French! For me, I’m still working on it. I have a hard time finding Foreign movies I want to watch on Netflix, and I bought a People en Espanol thinking it would be easy text in short chunks, but I don’t actually know most of the celebrities, so it’s not as compelling as I’d hoped. One of the reasons I’m studying Spanish is because I love the Argentine Tango. If only I was back in Florida I could go to some Milongas in Miami and get the full immersion experience! Does anyone know, btw, how to get movies or tv shows in your target language from Amazon? We found some Tintin that was listed as being available in English and French, but default was English and we didn’t see any way to switch over.

7 Murray June 16, 2012 at 6:19 am

I like to keep current on taxation and estate planning.
I am also interested in fitness, cooking with pulses and wine making.

8 Denisa June 16, 2012 at 8:20 am

I like to read, and so does my son. We read books in different languages. And he also likes to watch cartoons, so my parents sent us some in Slovak and Hungarian, and he loves to watch them.

9 Jenny June 16, 2012 at 10:43 am

I think the point that language learning is related to pleasure is so true. As a French teacher, I have seen this time and time again. Kids often learn best when they are having so much fun that they don’t even realize they are learning at all.
I enjoy talking with people. Living in francophone countries was definitely my best language experience because there were so many people to talk to in French.
My kids enjoy having books read to them. I have found, though, that they don’t enjoy reading in French as much. They lose interest quickly when they don’t understand all that is said. Maybe I need to find some simpler, more picture-oriented books to try? I wish our library had more of a selection!

10 Tracey June 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

We pretty much all love to read, do puzzles, listen to music, walk, do things as a family and be together.

11 Gale June 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm

MY FAVES: Writing and blogging (which unfortunately is so frustrating in the language I’m learning), reading, poetry (THIS I have been able tor read in the language, and it was fun…and I have also tried translating poems, which was fun even if the translation was horrible), gardening, art.

MY KIDS FAVES: Legos, Video games, cartoons, bike riding, playing at the park.

12 Jane June 17, 2012 at 4:02 am

I have so many interests and hobbies, I’ve subscribed to a French craft magazine, and have started writing up my recipes in French, as well as reading French literature. Some of it is a little slow going, but very enjoyable

13 Carol June 17, 2012 at 4:53 am

I have just joined this programme and only wish I had discovered it sooner – thank you Corey for your motivation and great ideas to help with learning another language.

We enjoy movies, baking, gardening, the countryside, dancing and so much more. We will use every opportunity to bring our new language, French, into all these activities.

14 Wendy June 17, 2012 at 11:50 am

My daughters enjoy baking cookies and cupcakes, art projects of all kinds, singing, dancing, jump roping, and doing the hula hoop. One of my girls really likes sports, and enjoys playing and watching soccer and football. We all enjoy reading and taking walks together. I’ve been enjoying doing the language challenge activities with them. I found a Spanish atlas at the library, and we’re working on way through the World Cup map activity. Thanks for all of the suggestions, Corey.

15 Kate June 18, 2012 at 3:47 am

I am reading a fantasy book in German at the moment, and so pleased with myself for coming so far in it – luckily it is at the right level for me and I understand almost everything. Perfect situation for relaxing reading in another language!

16 Alicia June 18, 2012 at 8:23 am

music! We love to listen to music in Spanish or other languages. I love it when we learn songs and we can sing along. It’s great for learning vocabulary and grammatical structure of languages.

17 melissa June 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I like baking, reading, movies and soccer. Our son likes diggers and trucks and kids music so we have some portugese dvds for him of children’s music. My husband recently got some portugese movies and a way to watch soccer games with Brazilan commentary. It

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