33 Ways to Incorporate a Second Language Into Your Family Life

Do you desire to learn a second language but are having a hard time squeezing it in to everything else you have going on? Take a look at this list we’ve compiled to help you incorporate your target language into what you’re already doing. A little practice every day makes a huge difference over time, both for you and your kids!

  1. Read books in your target language, for yourself or with your kids.  
  2. Listen to the radio
  3. Play a game. (We think this one looks fun!)
  4. Find the language section in your local library and check out some books. 
  5. Watch a favorite family movie in another language. 
  6. Have a dinner conversation just in your second language. 
  7. Take a room in your house and label everything with post-it notes. 
  8. Memorize a Bible verse or poem together. 
  9. Choose a recipe from a cookbook in your second language and get cooking. 
  10. Take a walk and point out all the colors you see. 
  11. Create and color a holiday card
  12. Go to a restaurant where you can practice with native speakers.
  13. Subscribe to a magazine in your target language. 
  14. Take advantage of your commute. Find a landmark to help you remember to switch to the target language. Every day we drive over a bridge with train tracks underneath and we greet the trains we see with a cheerful, “Hola, trenes!”
  15. Listen to music in Spanish. My kids love the Encanto soundtrack en español (to the point that when we hear the English version, they think it’s weird).
  16. Listen to a children’s podcast of stories in Spanish. Here’s one of Bible stories in Spanish (best for intermediate/advanced learners), and here are a lot more suggestions.
  17. Subscribe to a YouTuber or TikTok account in your target language. We like this one about cooking on an open oven, De Mi Rancho a Tu Cocina
  18. Change your devices to your target language. 
  19. Use a streaming service like Netflix that offers subtitles and audio in your target language. Better yet, watch a show or movie originally filmed in the language you are learning. 
  20. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to switch to your target language. 
  21. Discover how to say simple phrases and use them regularly. Like, “Let’s go!” (“Vámanos!”) Or any chores your kids do like, “Pick up your toys, please.” (“Recoge los juguetes, por favor.”) LOM’s adult Spanish classes have a specific lesson on kid vocabulary and commands.
  22. Make a new friend who speaks the target language.
  23. Create flashcards and time each other to see who can go through them fastest. 
  24. Have a hobby you love? Incorporate your second language. 
  25. Create a family language notebook where everyone can add new words they are learning or want to learn.
  26. Listen to catchy children’s songs to learn the basics of the language (create an account and get FREE access to a whole Spanish video library!) 
  27. Write your grocery list in another language. 
  28. Attend a church who speaks your second language. 
  29. Watch your favorite sport on a TV channel that speaks your target language.
  30. Decorate your house with signs. Etsy has some fun ones
  31. Set a language learning goal
  32. Go to a Bible study in your target language. 
  33. Take a language class.

While this is a hefty list, as the saying goes, “less is usually more.” Find two to three things you want to do regularly to help your whole family improve their language skills.

Consistency is key in learning another language, but grace is also important! Give you and your family grace to forget, mess up, and make mistakes. That’s where the learning begins. And then, give yourself grace to start again. 

Want more ideas as you navigate learning Spanish or Mandarin? Sign up for language classes and your teacher will be able to give you more suggestions for your particular language level and circumstance.