Learning a new language is a challenging and rewarding experience.
And it’s one that you can share with your entire family.
It’s one thing to raise multilingual children, but we’re talking about getting the parents involved, too. It’s a great way to spend more time together, bond, and help each other gain the benefits of learning a second language.
It isn’t hard to get started. It just takes a solid commitment, some real interest, and a willingness to try something new together.
Why Learn a New Language as a Family?
There are many great reasons for families to start studying a second language together.
Travelling as a family, for example, is one of the best ways to create some lasting memories. Whether you’re travelling for fun or relocating to another country for work, the experience will be so much more fun and memorable when you can interact directly with the people you meet there.
On the other hand, you might have a single family member who is already a speaker of a different language, and you are looking for a way to introduce the rest of the family to that language.
Then again, it may just be that you want to create an opportunity for the members of your family to take advantage of the many cognitive and intellectual benefits that have been associated with learning a new language.
There are a lot of great reasons to learn Arabic together as a family, so let’s take a look as some tips and guidelines that can help you along the way.
Set Your Goals
Your language goals can be anything, really, as long as the entire family agrees on them. Like any goal setting practices, though, they need to be specific and measurable.
So, rather than something like “get good at conversational phrases,” you could set a goal to “learn 12 sentences that are perfect examples of Arabic grammar in use.”
You can spread your learning out a little more this way, too. You can set goals to memorize the most common phrases used in restaurants, or the best ways to introduce yourself to new people. You can even set goals around learning certain dialects (like Egyptian colloquial) if you know you’re going to travel to specific areas.
When your goals are in place, you can encourage each other to accomplish them. More importantly, one of the major benefits of learning as a family is that there is always someone right there to check up on you and provide some important accountability and feedback.
Is There an Ideal Learning Method?
There is no single best way to learn. Everyone has their own method of learning and what works for one person may not be the best for someone else. And when you’re trying to learn together as a family, that means you’re going to have to determine the best way for everyone to get the most out of their study time.
Will someone benefit the most from memorizing as many vocabulary words as possible? Maybe rehearsing some important and useful phrases over and over again will be more beneficial.
Of course, there are simple ways to set up some online Arabic lessons that the entire family can participate in to improve their skills. Signing up for classes can also help you maintain a structured approach to your lessons so you never let them get pushed aside in favor of other activities.
You Can Make Learning Fun
As adults, we sometimes convince ourselves that we are too old to play simplistic games or that we have to do a lot more all at once (as in: we feel like we have to memorize 50 vocabulary words at once or we’re just not trying hard enough).
The truth, though, is that it may be better for adults to learn a new language like a child.
And that means if you’re learning with your children, you have every reason in the world to make learning a lot more fun. Whether you’re singing along with your kids, playing those “simplistic games,” or watching TV shows and movies, you can all build a strong foundation in the language while having fun together.
Label the House
If just one member of the family started labeling everything in the house with their Arabic names, it might get a little distracting for the other members of the household.
However, if you’re all in this together, you can label the everyday items in your home with simple tape or stickers or post-it notes and help everyone in the family start to use these words naturally.
This is a simple way to keep common words in the forefront of your mind and, before you know it, you will be thinking of the refrigerator and dinner table in both your native language and your new language.
We mentioned the benefits of having built-in accountability when you learn as a family, but you also have built-in speaking partners.
At Arab Academy, we’ll do everything we can to create opportunities for you to converse with a native speaker. You see the most progress, though, when you can really immerse yourself in the language as often as possible.
This immersion can start with the labels on everyday items, but you can make greater strides when you speak as much as you can with each other. And since you’re all working together on this, everyone will look forward to improving their skills together.
Opportunities like this aren’t available for every student of Arabic, so don’t miss out on it.
Whatever your reasons for learning Arabic, talk to your family today and see who is onboard with picking up a second language. It can be great fun and a wonderful bonding experience. Be sure to take a look through our courses to learn the Arabic language online and see how they can supplement your efforts to learn Arabic as a family.