HOW TO SET YOUR NEW LANGUAGE GOALS FOR THIS YEAR
New Year, New resolutions and then two weeks later, it is all forgotten. I think we have all been there.
However, when you are starting your new language journey, you will hopefully have a specific goal in mind and a vision of how this is going to look.
Now is the time to be realistic and put some thoughts down on how this goal will be started and achieved without losing interest or momentum.
Let us be honest; we know introducing a new language can sometimes be frustrating and challenging, but the rewards and the joy of learning together can be exceedingly motivating.
So let’s get a plan together and break it all down by answering a few questions.
CHOOSING YOUR LANGUAGE
So which language are you going to introduce? This may be easy to answer for some families. Either one parent already knows the language, or they have some knowledge of the language from school themselves. Or it could be that you do not know that language but wish to introduce it into your home in order to help your children in school, or it is a part of a home-school curriculum that you are using. Or are you looking to visit a particular country in the near future and wish to be able to communicate?
Whichever language you choose, you have a personal reason behind it.
Questions you need to ask yourself
So now you have chosen your language, it’s time to take a look at these five questions and see if you can answer them all prior to starting your language journey.
1)Why do you want to introduce a language into your home?
It would be best if you were clear about your WHY. It cannot be just on a whim; there needs to be solid reasoning for why you wish to venture on this language journey. If the answer to this first question is not straightforward, please take the time to answer this in detail. This first question really does need some solid answers. If you are not clear on why you are going on this language journey the rest will fail. You need to behind the WHY 100% otherwise you will lose motivation and this will be passed down to your child/children.
2) What do you wish to achieve?
Do you have a specific goal that you want your child or family to reach regarding language level, or do you have a particular vision that you want to realise? Having a specific goal to reach can not only be motivational but it can also help you with regards to the next question we will be asking and that is HOW.
3) How are you going to integrate the language into your home?
Are you going to be using a specific bilingual/language learning method, or will you set specific times of the day/week where the new language will be used/learnt? The systems or processes that can be used are endless., but also does not need to be set in stone. Each families circumstances are different, and it could be that your ‘ how’ changes throughout your journey as it has with our langauge learning journey with Emily.
4) What resources are you going to use?
The internet is so full of free resources and pronunciation videos that if the language is entirely new to the family, there should still be plenty of resources to help you. Don’t be shy get stuck in, as soon as you try speaking just go with the flow. Everything does not need to be perfect. It is a journey with numerous crossroads and probably stop signs for breaks along the way.
5) When are you going to start with the new language?
Why not NOW!! If all the answers are clear for questions 1-3, why not start straight away. The resources that you can find can be planned along the way, but a quick start is a treasure hunt within the home or outdoors with pictures on a piece of paper and the words written in both languages. When the item is found, say the word in both languages, and the children should repeat them.
I am very keen that children or adults alike should learn a language through living it, not through reading and writing. This, of course, comes later, but it’s great if children can grow their vocabulary in a new language and also speak in some simple sentences, rather than them trying to read and write the language without the relevant words in place in order to do this. I have found that numerous children find it frustrating to wade through the grammer first without having the vocabulary to work it out.
If you need some extra help, I have a free download available on my website, (https://outdoorbilinguallearner.com/product/album-2/ ) which talks about some options available, asks the above questions and also looks at the methods that we have used as a family and are using in order to move our language learning journey forward. You could book a power hour with me in order to discuss your goals and set out a structured plan together about how to move your language learning journey forward (https://outdoorbilinguallearner.com/product/power-hour/ ).
I hope this has helped and I would love to hear about some of your langauge learning journeys, new or old.