Learning a new language can be a challenging and rewarding experience, but it can also be intimidating and overwhelming. One way to make the process more enjoyable and engaging is by using games as a basis for learning.
Here are a few reasons why playing games makes language learning fun:
Games are engaging:
Games are a fun and interactive way to learn, and they can help keep students engaged and motivated. By using games as a basis for learning, you can help make language learning more enjoyable and encourage students to stay involved.
Games are interactive:
Games are an interactive way to learn, which can help students practice their skills in a more realistic and engaging way. By playing games, students can practice their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in a more interactive and dynamic way.
Games are adaptable:
Games are flexible and adaptable, which means that you can use them to teach a wide range of language skills. Whether you want to focus on grammar, vocabulary, or conversation skills, there is a game that can help you achieve your goals.
Games are fun:
Above all, games are fun. By using games as a basis for learning, you can help make language learning more enjoyable and help students stay engaged and motivated.
Here are a few examples of games that you can use to make language learning fun:
Scrabble is a classic board game that can be adapted to teach vocabulary and spelling skills in the target language. Students can practice building words and improving their spelling skills, while also learning new words and phrases.
Hangman is a simple game that can be used to teach vocabulary and spelling skills in the target language. Students can guess letters to help fill in a word or phrase, and the teacher can provide hints or clues to help them along.
Word search puzzles are a fun and interactive way to practice vocabulary and spelling skills in the target language. Students can search for hidden words in a grid of letters, and the teacher can provide a list of words to look for or allow students to come up with their own list.
Charades is a classic party game that can be adapted to teach vocabulary and conversation skills in the target language. Students can act out words or phrases without speaking, and their classmates can try to guess what they are trying to convey.
Board games are a classic way to make language learning fun and interactive. There are many board games that have been adapted for language learning, such as “¡Arriba!” and “Let’s Talk Spanish.” These games can help students practice vocabulary, grammar, and conversation skills in a fun and engaging way.
In addition to these games, there are also many online resources and apps that can help you make language learning more fun and interactive. For example, we offer a range of exercises and games to help children practice their skills, and it provides feedback and rewards to help keep them motivated.
Overall, playing games can be a powerful and effective way to make language learning more enjoyable and engaging. Whether you use traditional board games, online resources, or apps, the key is to find the tools and techniques that work best for you and your students. With a little bit of creativity and flexibility, you can make language learning a fun and rewarding experience for all.
To celebrate the launch of our first Cooking With Languages products, our bilingual English/Spanish Activity Cookbook and Apron, we are offering our very first giveaway.
This competition is in exclusive conjunction with the latest publication of the wonderful Kids on the Costa (KOTC) magazine and can be followed on social media using the hashtag #KOTCColourComp
KOTC is our favourite magazine for kids and families on the Costa del Sol and southern Spain!
About Kids On the Costa Magazine:
How old is KOTC?
The first publication of Kids On the Costa Magazine was launched in March 2002. It is 15 years old!
What date will the latest edition be published?
The next printed edition will be published on 22nd of May 2017 but you can read it sooner online (Read Latest Version Here
Until what date will the publication with the competition in be distributed?
The last distribution date of this publication will be February 2018.
How many copies are printed?
25,000 copies of the magazine are printed and, in addition, digital copies are distributed/promoted online
What is the distribution area?
The printed magazines are distributed at many points, from Malaga City to Gibraltar on the Coast and neighbouring inland areas such as Coin and Alhaurin el Grande. The online digital version is read worldwide.
How Can You Enter Our Competition?
- Grab a copy of the KOTC magazine (available from May 22nd, 2017 to February 2018)
- Colour in our picture of Arthur Apple and Nerea Naranja having fun and getting messy in the kitchen.
- Ask your parents to take a photograph of you holding the coloured picture and upload it to our Cooking With Languages Facebook page. (LINK HERE) NOTE: Make sure you “Like” the Facebook Page too as the winners will be announced there!
- OR upload your photo to Twitter tagging @cooklanguage and using the hashtag #KOTCColourComp
- Add the following dates to your diary: SATURDAY 22nd JULY 2017 and SATURDAY 16TH DECEMBER 2017 and be sure to visit the Cooking With Languages Facebook page on those dates as that is when the two winners will be announced.
What If You Don’t Live in southern Spain? What If You Aren’t Planning a Holiday Here in 2017? Don’t worry, You Can Still Enter …
- Download and print off the picture of Arthur Apple and Nerea Naranja having fun and getting messy in the kitchen. ( Use this link to download and print: Arthur & Nerea in the kitchen )
- Colour it in.
- Ask your parents to take a photograph of you holding the coloured picture and upload it to the Kids on the Costa Facebook page. (LINK HERE) NOTE: Make sure you “Like” the Cooking With Languages Facebook Page too as the winners will be announced there!
- OR upload your photo to Twitter tagging @cooklanguage and using the hashtag #KOTCColourComp
- Add the following dates to your diary SATURDAY 15TH JULY 2017 and SATURDAY 16TH DECEMBER 2017 and be sure to visit the Cooking With Languages Facebook page on those dates as that is when the two winners will be announced.
Download FREE materials and great gifts …
Most children would love the opportunity to be put in the spotlight with the chance to release their inner diva. Whether it’s singing a song or acting out parts of their favourite movie.
How To Help Your Bilingual Masterchef Shine!
Today, we want to share a winning formula to help your children, a future bilingual Masterchef, shine. They will improve their language skills by feeding their imagination as a contestant on a popular television show such as Junior MasterChef or Great British Bake Off – but with a twist.
The icing on the cake is that the show will be conducted in the language they are learning (target language). They could be cooking a paella in Spanish, a kartoffelpuffer in German or a creme brulee in French. It will be fun, competitive and educational as they get their head around a recipe in a foreign language.
Learning a language used to be as dry as day-old bread but not anymore. Children will enjoy cooking with languages, especially if they have the chance to win a prize and be a television star for a day.
Organising a Junior MasterChef or Bake Off is relatively straightforward and could be your party piece for a birthday get-together or for a sleepover.
Unless you have a large kitchen with more than one cooker, it is a good idea to get them all to work from the same recipe and make something that’s relatively quick to cook. With younger children, they could prepare the recipe and you put in the oven for them.
[bctt tweet=”Play the Mystery Box challenge in your Junior Bilingual MasterChef #languagelearning” username=”cooklanguage”]
It’s a mystery…
For Junior Bilingual MasterChef, you could play the Mystery Box challenge so they all have the same ingredients to start. They would then be given 10 minutes to find a recipe in the language they are learning to create a meal which symbolises that country.
For Spain, for example, they could be given the ingredients to make albondigas (meatballs), cocas (mini pizzas) or empanadas (little pasties). The cocas would be ideal for younger children as they could just be asked to decorate ready-made cocas.
The German students could try kasespatzle (similar to macaroni cheese), kartoffelsalat (potato salad) – good for the little ones – or Bavarian apple strudel cake.
In the French corner, we’d suggest cherry clafoutis (fresh fruit and custard dessert), mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse) or moules marinieres (mussels).
For younger children, we would suggest that you go through a recipe with them so they are copying what you are doing or ask them to do something simple like put the toppings on cocas or decorate cupcakes.
Download FREE materials and great gifts …
Older children can follow a recipe in a foreign language while undertaking the Mystery Box challenge. They can be encouraged to put their own twist to it by adding a special ingredient or making it look very special.
Icing on the cake …
In the Bake Off, depending on their age, you can encourage the children to make their own cakes or simply create colourful toppings for ready-made cakes. Again, they will have to use ingredients from their chosen country and follow recipes or instructions in this language too.
Let them shine…
It is a fun idea to find a volunteer to film them while they’re baking. Then get them to introduce themselves and talk about their produce in Spanish, German or French. You can give score points for the best dish as well as the most authentic accent. If you want to be really clever, you could put these on a Facebook page or YouTube to ask their friends to vote on the best ones.
Don’t forget to share your pics with us on our Facebook Page
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Get your kids in the kitchen and watch them grow!
It’s time to get your kids in the kitchen!
Young children love to copy what other people are doing. They gain great pleasure out of helping their parents wash the car, tidy up or even put the shopping away. A positive way to put this curiosity to good use and satisfy their inquisitive minds is by teaching them a new language whilst performing theses activities.
Get your kids in the kitchen and they can bake cakes, make pasta or play with pastry dough while you feed their mind with new words.
By having fun getting messy in the kitchen, they won’t actually realise they are being taught a new language.
Learning a language often means learning by rote and repetition, as words and phrases need to be repeated to be remembered. But repetition does not have to be boring. Making the experience fun helps to keep young learners curious and keen to carry on.
[bctt tweet=”Repetition need not be boring! Make it fun and watch them learn #languagelearning” username=”cooklanguage”]
Children are sponges. They are easily excitable. When they are excited and interested in something they absorb more. They learn without realising.
No matter what age your child is, they can have fun learning languages through cooking or simply playing with food.
Children use all of their senses while cooking. By helping them learn to cook and to know about food, you help them to be more comfortable with different foods and can even make them healthier eaters.
Pressuring young children to eat vegetables at the dinner table is known to be counterproductive – it actually increases resistance to healthy foods.
Download FREE materials and great gifts …
In a nutshell, kids like what they know and they eat what they like. So, making food and cooking fun has many benefits.
In addition to using food and cooking for learning languages, you can use them to help with:
- Improving motor skills in younger children: start with soft foods that they can add/mix/grate/cut with plastic scissors or child-friendly knives …
- Mathematical skills: from number recognition, basic sums, to learning weights and measures,
- Reading and comprehension: encourage your child to read the recipe to you, ask them questions that spark their imagination eg. How do they think the food will look? Taste? smell?
- Telling the time and measuring time
- Boosting vocabulary: ingredients, using descriptive words to describe how food looks, smells and sounds while it’s cooking,
Children, of all ages, have fun while using all five senses which is why cooking is so entertaining. First, they’ll be using their eyes to find ingredients and read the recipe. Then they will be touching the food as they chop it or mix it. After that comes the sound of the cooking as the food sizzles, bubbles or makes a popping noise. This gives off the lovely smells which help to get the mouth watering as they finally get to taste their delicious dishes.
As well as new words, you can introduce some simple maths while you cook. Your children can weigh out ingredients on the scales or use measurements such as litres and grams. If rolling out pastry or pasta, they’ll need a ruler to measure the length too. They’ll be learning to tell the time as they stir the pot for two minutes or bake a cake for 40 minutes, for example.
Then there are the words they will use. It’s not just learning about ingredients but they will be boosting their vocabulary with new verbs such as basting, boiling, rolling or roasting; and adding adjectives like bitter, sweet, delicious, juicy, salty, smooth or lumpy. You can encourage them to communicate by asking them how the food feels or to describe how it tastes.
By getting children involved in the cooking process, it’s a sneaky way to get them to try new things. If they’ve cooked it, they’ll want to try it so think about introducing different ingredients or spices as you go along. Hopefully, this will encourage them to be more experimental with flavours. Most children go through a fussy eating stage but getting them to help prepare the family meals can be one way to get them to taste new foods. They’ll feel proud and excited at helping and should be more likely to eat something they’ve helped to make, especially if you say how yummy it looks.
To sum up, children can learn new words, a new language, simple maths, the time and communication skills by helping prepare a meal. Bearing that in mind, we think cooking with children is a fun way to teach while you also get a little helper in the kitchen. Now, we just have to persuade them that washing up is a great game to play too!
Try these simple activities, in your target language, for starters…
(These ideas can be adapted to whatever language you are introducing.)
- Using your fruit bowl …
- Can you name the fruits in your bowl?
- What colour are they?
- How many are there?
- What do they smell like?
- What do they feel like?
- Open your cutlery drawer …
- Can you name each utensil?
- How many are there of each item?
- What is each item used for?
- Create stickies (and if you are artistic, add drawings too) of Kitchen items …
- E.g. fridge, freezer, sink, cupboard, drawer, tea towel, dishcloth …
4. Play the “hot/cold” game …
- The idea is that your child has to guess which word (in the target languages) is the correct name for the items in your kitchen. As they get closer to the item, you say “hotter” (in your target language) and as the move further away you say “colder” (in your target language)
5. Use out Activity Cookbook
- If your target language is Spanish or English, choose one of the recipes from our Activity Cookbook and work together with your child.
- Before you start cooking:
- Look at the ingredients, practice the words together (listen to the audio on our website for help)
- Make a shopping list together, for the required ingredients
- Visit the supermarket and purchase the ingredients, with your child, repeating the words and quantities as shown in our book
- When you are ready to cook:
- Tell your child (in the target language) what they need to get ready, item by item (using the book for reference)
- From the fridge, we need …..
- From the cupboard, we need …
- Follow the instructions, step by step and make the simple and scrummy recipes.
- Practice phrases and expressions to say what you love, like, don’t like …
There are so many ways how children learn a language in the kitchen, these are just a few simple ideas. We have many more to share with you!
Introducing Arthur Apple’s Pancake Challenge! Designed to get Kids in the Kitchen and Learning New Languages!
We have a simple and scrummy recipe to share with you. It is really easy to follow.
This is one of the recipes in our Activity Cookbook that we funded thanks to YOU on Crowdfunder.
125gr plain flour
Your favourite fillings: sugar, lemon, Nutella, fresh fruit, honey…
How to make the pancakes …
- Sieve the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl.
- Make a hole in the centre of the flour and add the egg and some milk.
- Whisk all the ingredients together until you have a smooth liquid.
- Add the remaining milk and whisk again.
How to cook the pancakes…
- Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan.
- Remove the excess oil before adding the pancake mix.
- Add a large spoon of mix to the frying pan and spread it over the base (the easiest way is to rotate the frying pan slowly).
- As the pancake sets, loosen it with a spatula and flip over (use a plate if you are not confident flipping).
Arthur’s Perfect Pancake Tips:
- For skinny French style pancakes, make sure your mixture is nice and runny.ie. add lots of the milk
- For fatter American style pancakes, use less milk to make a thicker mixture.
- BEFORE entering the Pancake Challenge, experiment with the mixture to get your best pancake.
- Loosen the pancake with a spatula before flipping.
- HAVE FUN!!!!
How Do You Enter Arthur Apple’s Pancake Challenge?
- Once you have perfected the art of making simple and scrummy pancakes, you need to practice flipping them.
- For the challenge, you can flip your pancakes wherever you like … in the kitchen, in your garden, on the beach, in the snow … let your imagination run wild!
- When you are ready, ask somebody to video you flipping your pancake, as many times as you can.
- At the start of your video, tell us your name, age and where you are from.
- Count out loud, in whatever language you can speak, whilst flipping your pancakes.
- Post your video to our Cooking with Languages Facebook Page (Pop over to the page and see the wonderful video Bodhi and Himani sent to us!)
What other ideas do you have for using food and cooking for introducing new languages?
We’d love to share your ideas on our Facebook page and here on our website.
There are many reasons why learning a language through cooking is a recipe for success …
Cooking is very fashionable at the moment with millions glued to the television to watch shows like MasterChef, The Great British Bake Off and Hell’s Kitchen with the straight-talking Gordon Ramsay. Celebrity chefs are also making waves in the kitchen with the effervescent Jamie Oliver changing the way we view food and the lovable Hairy Bikers making great dishes with local produce. So it makes perfect sense to use this tremendous interest in food to help people learn a new language. They can do something they enjoy while learning new words in a fun and creative way.
It is something that all ages can try – from tiny tots helping to make cakes or biscuits through to older people who fancy cooking something different while practising a new language, such as Spanish. You can join classes or go it alone through books or apps. For instance, if you’re learning Spanish you could find a recipe in the original language for a traditional dish like paella, gazpacho or rabo de toro (oxtail stew) and follow it. You will learn a lot of vocabulary such as ingredients, verbs and different verb tenses.
[bctt tweet=” Learning a language through cooking is a recipe for success! #bilingualbooks ” username=”cooklanguage”]
Learning a language through cooking is a recipe for success on so many different levels. The most important being that you get to cook and taste a gorgeous meal, so that’s an incentive in itself. It also uses all five senses:
Sight: Reading the recipe, looking at all the gorgeous ingredients and watching your food take shape
Smell: Wonderful aromas of individual ingredients plus those sensational cooking smells as you prepare your food
Sound: The noise of food as you chop and cook whether it is sizzling in a pan or gently bubbling away.
Touch: The different shape and texture of your food – kneading dough, or getting stuck into making cakes or pasta.
Taste: The best bit! Trying your food as you go along and then sharing your finished dish with family or friends.
Download FREE materials and great gifts …
Learning languages through cooking has so many advantages.
First of all, reading through the recipe, looking up words you don’t understand and trying to commit them all to memory. Then, not only are you reading new articles, but you are understanding what you are reading. If you are a newbie in the kitchen, it might mean you find out what blanching, clarifying, deglazing or searing mean. It’s a crafty way of making sure you understand what you have just read because you can’t wing it when you’re cooking. If you don’t know your meuniere from your marinate, you could be in trouble!
For younger people following a recipe helps you to follow instructions. You need to go through the recipe step by step so your food turns out as it should. Obviously, this is another useful tool to master because there are so many situations in life when you have to follow the rules.
Finally, you should be having fun while you learn. You’re adding to your vocabulary, increasing understanding while learning more about the culture and history behind the language through gastronomy.
If that isn’t enough to get you cooking up a storm in the kitchen while learning a new language, Newcastle University also uses this method of learning. French language students have been taught through cooking. They have instructions on the computer to guide them along with motion sensor technology integrated into the cooking utensils and other equipment which are linked to the computer so it can be clearly seen if the student is understanding the instructions properly.
We firmly believe the best way to learn something is by doing it for yourself. By cooking and learning about foods, you will learn more about a country while those new words sink in.
Help us to bring the love of food and cooking into more households and classrooms!