Five ways to keep language learning fresh this summer.

Jun 14, 2017 8:33:00 AM / by Jillian Rodriguez

Reading a book on the beach.

The summer slide. That doesn’t sound so bad — we’re thinking slip ‘N slides, playgrounds, maybe a water slide or two. Think again. In fact, the summer slide refers to the summer learning loss that occurs when the school year ends, for students young and old. All that hard work you put in during the school year faces its archenemy when the lazy days of summer kick in and your studying slumps. But fear not, we’ve got your back.

Turns out that the summer slide has a foil: fun, easy, and simple ideas for keeping up with your language learning during summer vacation. With time and brain power to spare, summer is prime time for taking on new learning challenges. In fact, some of these ideas might make your summer break even more fun than you imagined. Stick with us, and your language learning will be fresher than ever when you hit the books again this fall.

1. Plan field trips.

Summer is all about road trips and spontaneous adventures, so tailor your trips to fit your language-learning goals. Google is your friend, so take to the internet and search upcoming cultural events where you can flex your language-learning muscles and soak up some culture-learning sun. Check out your local museums for cultural events, festivals, and celebrations that’ll be as fun as they are educational. Looking for a place to start? Head to New York for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Seattle for Chinatown's Dragon Fest, or travel the world of sound at Chicago’s World Music Festival. Don’t forget to brush up on your conversation skills before your next adventure!

2. Create a schedule.

We know, this sounds like the antithesis of summer. But trust us, without a schedule, your summer learning goals will melt as quickly as a popsicle in the sun. Instead, think about where you want your language skills to be by the end of summer and set some realistic goals. Create a schedule around those goals and increase your accountability by displaying a motivating vision board or creating a reward system to build retention. Give your summer learning a theme and focus on specific skills to keep your learning attainable, fun, and applicable. For inspiration, check out our free speciality courses, from the Horse Race of Siena to Texting in Spanish. This summer just got interesting.

3. Go multimedia.

This tip is especially relevant if your summer learning goals involve children. Round up the troops: from Little Pim to world music, summer learning has got to be fun. Language learning is all about exposure — choose foreign-language films for movie night, play world music on the way to soccer practice, and check out a few foreign-language books from the library. It’ll keep your summer activities diverse and engaging, and you’ll likely pick up a few new language skills along the way. Inspired by something you learn? Build your skills with an online course, allowing you to learn on-the-go, track your learning, and explore whatever new culture piques your interest next.

4. Keep it friendly.

We’ll get by with a little help from our friends — and that goes for our littlest friends, too. Whether you’re setting language-learning goals for yourself or your students, you can spread the wealth and ensure accountability by making it a group effort. Partner up with fellow language-learners and host world-language potlucks, cultural nights, and conversation dates over coffee, ice cream, or something more unique. Rediscover the joys of snail mail with an international pen pal — there are a ton of sites out there to connect you with your next best friend.

5. Choose flexible & fun.

Let’s face it — you don’t want to spend your summer trapped inside, glued to your laptop,  nose buried in a textbook, or bound by the schedule of summer school. Part of combatting the summer slide is finding the language-learning solution that’s right for you. Seek out resources that are flexible, fun, and tailored to your interests. If you don’t want to get bored, pick a language-learning tool that’s not boring. With 20 foreign-language films and counting, Mango Premiere is the perfect summer-night solution — get cultured, be entertained, and learn new skills through bite-sized scenes broken down to teach you relevant, useful conversation skills. Don't forget about Mango's mobile apps  — you can catch up on your learning on the beach, on the bus, or while flying to your next adventure without missing a beat.

Ready to add Mango to your summer bucket list? Find a library with Mango near you and start learning!

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Topics: Higher Ed, Language Learning and Culture

Jillian Rodriguez

Written by Jillian Rodriguez

Jillian is a writer and editor out of Detroit, Michigan. She loves connecting people through new ideas, interesting stories, and good conversation. In her free time, Jillian loves to read, write, and listen to podcasts - in Spanish and in English!

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