How to Teach Your Children a Language During Social Distancing

     Many of us have probably been affected in some way, shape, or form by the COVID-19 outbreak. Personally, in Maryland we have currently shut down bars and restaurants, and schools are currently on a modified version of distance learning. You may be wondering how you can continue to hone your own language skills or how to provide resources and materials for your child who is learning one at school. Here is just a sample of online materials. Please note that the Museum is not receiving any sort of financial compensation from any of these companies or products.

     For learners of all languages and all ages, Check your local library’s digital resources

     You may not know it, but your local library may already subscribe to Mango Languages, Rosetta Stone, or any other comprehensive online language learning program. Generally if you have a library card you can access all of these materials for free. If your child is already fairly proficient, many libraries also offer resources such as WorldBook or BrainPOP in other languages. 

     If you want to practice vocabulary and grammar, Duolingo and other phone-based apps are always a good resource to help build up these skills, although other paid resources may have more access to authentic material, content, or practice. 

     If you are a teacher or a parent who is comfortable homeschooling their child in a language, there are many great resources on TeachersPayTeachers for nearly all languages. You can filter by age range, level, or homeschool-ready materials. For Spanish and French, there are several Facebook groups such as Spanish Teachers in the US who are providing resources for free or low cost. Martina Bex and The Comprehensible Classroom also provide many resources that can be used for any language even if the original materials are in Spanish. 

     We know these are troubling times around the world, but maintaining good hygiene practices, including mental hygiene, can go a long way towards your overall health and wellness. Keeping a routine and continuing to learn, even in a modified format, will keep you in a positive mental state. Even if you cannot be physically present, call a friend or check MeetUp to speak with someone in another language over Zoom or Skype. Please feel free to leave a comment on our Facebook page or our email if you would like to provide further resources.