Learning a new language doesn’t just happen inside the classroom. There are many other places and ways to learn.
Your school may have language clubs in which you (and possibly teachers and parents) can voluntarily attend at lunchtime or after school. They have access to additional teaching resources, books, videos and games and can share them with you.
- place posters around the school in different languages - for example, a poster might illustrate the range of languages spoken in Asia
- introduce a “Language of the Month”
- introduce a “Polyglots” club where students from different linguistic backgrounds can share with others their knowledge, skills and perspectives
- devote some time to a specific country or language - this might include a Chinese, Greek or Russian day where students experience a range of activities related to their target language, such as dance, cookery, art and language work
- develop partnerships with schools in other countries
Outside school, there are interesting schemes, such as “pen pals”, which consist of corresponding with similar-aged students in foreign countries. This can increase your cultural awareness and help with your letter writing skills. Combined with free games, lessons and language exercises on the Internet, language learning can be totally accessible in your home.
Your parents can also be a good source of motivation. They can help you use learning materials, such as audio books, CD-ROMs and Internet-based games and activities. These can be great ways to get started or to build on the language skills you already have.
And with your parent learning alongside you, you both can share in the sense of achievement. Furthermore, your parents might go on holiday to the country whose language you are learning. Nothing could be better for bringing a language alive!