Forget the lazy days of summer! Summertime is a great time to learn about all the things that you never have “time” to do during the busy school year – like learn a new language!
This is a sponsored post by Russian Step By Step. It contains Amazon affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.
Tips for Summer Language Learning with kids
I’ve teamed up with Russian Step By Step to bring you a summer language resource guide! Geared for children ages 3-10. We hope that you find it useful in planning out a language rich summer!
Benefits of Learning Another Language:
Research shows that children who learn a language can benefit in numerous ways. The American Council of Teaching of Foreign Languages has gathered some of these benefits and highlighted studies in this article.
We are learning Russian for these and many other reasons!
- Increased linguistic awareness
- Improved thinking, memory skills, and problem solving skills
- Development of positive attitudes towards speakers of the target language &
- Really… how cool is is to hear my kids speak Russian? Very! That may be the #1 benefit!
Finding and Making Resources for Language Learning:
In order to learn another language, you first must gather your resources. We were given a copy of Russian Step By Step, Animal Names and Sounds in Russian and Azbuka (Alphabet) to jump start our summer language learning.
in the target language. Some languages are harder to find, but Amazon is a good starting place to see what is available in the language you hope to learn!
Use the existing resources to make interactive resources for your kids, such as the sentence flash card game I made for my kids that go along with the sentences in theAnimal Names and Sounds book.
Translation of picture: The duck says: quack-quack (not oink oink)
Finding the Time to Sneak in Language Learning
Once you have your materials for learning another language it is important to find time to interact with that language; listening, learning, and speaking.
Develop a routine
Choose a time during the day when your kids are excited about learning. We like to bring our Russian songs and books out right after breakfast.
Make sure to plan for 15-20 minutes of target language interaction daily. For some families right after dinnertime words well too.
Make learning fun
Sneak language learning into play and crafting time. If it is FUN then kids don’t feel like they HAVE to do it, rather their motivation is higher and they WANT to learn it.
We used the Azbuka (Alphabet) book and built the letters with beaded wires.
The kids thought it was so much fun and I know they retained more of the letters than if they were just repeating me with their words. You can use wikki stix, play-dough, beads, buttons, or any other smaller household items to make and learn letters!
Make use of driving time
We all have errands to run and places to go. Use these drive times as a way to practice your target language. Play word games in Russian. Listen to a how-to-speak tape. Car dance to a Russian music CD. Sneak language learning in whenever possible!
Are you ready to start learning Russian with your kids?
My children have the basic words to identify objects and simple animals in Russian, which is why I really liked the Russian Step By Step children’s curriculum as it introduced the different animals (mother, father, and child) AND provided a full sentence for practice such as, The duck says quack.
My kids were able to hear and practice using the basic words in a sentence, rather than just seeing the word for the animal in isolation.
We are all getting better at the letter names and sounds and are really looking forward to their new curriculum coming this fall!!!
Buy Russian Step by Step kids curriculum now:
Animal Names and Sounds in Russian Part 1
Animal Names and Sounds in Russian part 2
To find more Russian Resources here at the Educators’ Spin On It, we recommend:
- Russian Books for Kids
- A Virtual Field Trip to Russia
- Russian Art for Kids
- Sharing Russian Culture with Friends
- Where to find resources to teach Russian
- Making Borsht and labeling your fridge
What language do YOU want to teach your children more of this summer?
Yuliya Fruman says
This is really cool, and it's so awesome that you are trying to learn, as well! Russian is my first language, and it's the language I use to talk to my son.
My kiddo isn't two yet, but I've started thinking quite a bit about how to teach him reading/writing/proper Russian as he gets older. We already have several azbukas and I'm definitely going to be adding to our collection soon as he's started randomly identifying a letter here and there. Are these books really intended for learning Russian as a second language, or would it also work for native speakers?
Again, it's really great that you are encouraging your kids to learn another language! I live in the Netherlands now, and I'm just floored at how many languages people speak here. Our friend's 12 year old already speaks 3 languages more or less fluently! It's something that I really felt was missing from my education when I lived in the US, but I'm also a bit of a geek and love languages/cultural studies 😉
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