We previously discussed how learning Arabic as a family can be a fun and challenging experience that brings everyone a little closer together.
As a family, you can set goals, get to know each other better, and open up new opportunities all over the world. There are certainly a lot of benefits to taking this journey together, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
There are a lot of demands on all our lives these days, and a hundred things throughout the house causing distractions.
That means if you really want to improve your language skills as a family, it’s going to require more than an occasional reminder to finish up courses to learn Arabic online.
It’s going to require a structured approach.
Create a Learning Space
If you’re trying to learn Arabic in the same room where you also play PlayStation, watch movies, and take naps, this may not be the best place for a structured learning environment.
Of course, not everyone has a spare room where they can congregate specifically to do some language studies.
And that means you might have to be a little extra creative.
The thing is, your learning space doesn’t necessarily have to be a separate room.
You just need something to indicate that the room – whatever it is normally used for – is NOW the place where lessons will happen.
This could be a simple as shutting the door to the rest of the house. It could be draping a sheet over the television. It could be drawing the curtains on the windows.
Really, it can be anything. You just need an indicator that says we are here to learn Arabic and waste no more time.
Now that you have a dedicated learning space, let’s also consider a few things that will make it a little more conducive to learning.
- Don’t set up in places that are consistently too hot or too cold, since that can make it too difficult to concentrate.
- Do make sure the area is well lit so learners can read, write, and watch videos comfortably.
- Don’t overcrowd the space with supplies and materials.
- Do fix up the area with things that help immerse everyone in the language and culture
- Do think about everyone’s individual learning styles.
- Don’t act like an overbearing teacher.
- Do expect everyone to respect the learning space for what it is.
Set Specific Goals for Each Individual Family Member
If your entire family is working toward learning a language, there’s a good chance that some of them will be moving faster than others. Some may have a natural tendency for acquiring the language, others just might be a lot younger and not as interested as they could be.
At first, it may seem like this could get in the way of your otherwise structured learning environment, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Everyone learns at their own pace, and online courses have made it really easy to do just that.
The trick here is to make sure that “their own pace” always challenges their current abilities.
This means you need to set goals for every member of the family that focuses on their individual needs and keeps them moving forward.
Maybe one member of the family already has a lot of Arabic knowledge. Give them the real challenging goals. Maybe another member of the family is still mastering the Arabic alphabet or has a difficult time remembering vocabulary. Decide together how many words per week is a good challenge, and reward them every time they hit that goal.
When you learn as a family, you don’t have to have the same goals, but you do have to have goals for everyone.
Structure the Rewards, Too
Learning Arabic at home – especially when you want to raise multilingual children – will require a very clear and reliable reward structure.
A vague promise that maybe your teen will get a reward of some kind if they complete their online lessons will not, in fact, have much of an impact on them.
However, if they know that they will get Reward A for completing their vocabulary lessons this week, and Reward B (which is clearly better than Reward A) for completing their vocabulary and grammar lessons, and Reward C (which is a surprisingly impressive reward, indeed), for also having a one-on-one with a native speaker, now we’re getting somewhere.
And if these rewards are given promptly, and you never give them out for a week that was “close enough,” you will create a structure that everyone in the family will know is practically written in stone and something they can rely on.
This surety is key to a structured learning environment.
It may take some work to get everything set up, but, in the end, you will have created a space in which your entire family can enjoy the process of learning Arabic.