The holiday season is upon us! This is a wonderful time to focus on bilingualism by taking advantage of seasonal themes to build meaningful associations and context in language acquisition. Here are a few ideas for you and your family to do at home.
Learn holiday carols and other seasonal songs in another language.
Singing is a wonderful and fun way to enhance language learning! Learn holiday songs in the second language this season. You can find songs online on sites like Youtube and Canto Alegre, and in CD/Book sets such as De Colores by José-Luis Orozo (which may be available at the library or can be purchased online).
Learn about different holiday customs and traditions from other parts of the world.
Attend a multicultural holiday event, find a book at the library or peruse the internet to learn about different customs and traditions for celebrating holidays this time of the year. By learning about other customs, traditions and other seasonally related holidays, you gain new insight and meaning into your own customs and traditions. In the process, you may also decide to adapt customs or practices from other cultures to make your own celebration more meaningful and personal to you and your family.
Watch a family movie in your second language.
Watching a family movie together is a great way to incorporate language learning with family fun over the holiday break. Most Disney languages are available in Spanish and French. Many online streaming services such as Netflix as well as Youtube offer select movies in multiple languages. The library also has a nice collection of family movies in other languages and it is free!
Incorporates vocabulary learning in holiday related activities and projects.
Have fun making your own seasonal bilingual games like bingo or memory card games. Make bilingual seasonal cards or decorative artwork inspired by a seasonal theme such as a snow flake to enhance vocabulary learning in the second language. For a special holiday treat, make holiday cookies or cakes using vocabulary for all the ingredients and the baking process in your second language.
Read holiday and seasonally themed stories and books in the second language.
Reading is always a fun and enriching way to add vocabulary in any language. Take advantage of the season by reading seasonal themed stories together in the second language. By doing so you add not only vocabulary but also personal and meaningful context to the experience of the holiday season. The library, online book stores and online educational websites are great places to find seasonal themed stories in a variety of languages.