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 the prime season 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 fun in the sun. Check out your local museums for cultural events, festivals, and celebrations that will 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 with Mango Languages 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, begin with the end in mind — 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 specialty courses, from the Horse Race of Siena in Italian to Text Talk in Spanish. This summer just got interesting.
3. Go multimedia
This tip is especially relevant if your summer learning goals involve keeping children occupied. Language learning is all about exposure — choose foreign-language films for movie night, play world music on the way to your kids' soccer practice, and check out a few culture-related books from the library. It’ll keep your summer activities diverse and engaging, and you’ll likely pick up a few new skills along the way (not to mention a few words in a different language!) To expand your skills 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 a more unique treat. Rediscover the joys of snail mail with an international pen pal — there are plenty 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. With 70 world languages and counting, Mango Languages is the perfect on-the-go solution for those busy summer days and nights. Get cultured, be entertained, and learn new skills through conversations broken down to teach you relevant, useful skills. With the Mango Languages mobile app you can catch up on your learning at the beach, on the bus, or while flying to your next adventure without missing a beat. Click below to start learning, wherever you happen to be!
What are your plans for this summer? Will you be traveling taking a road trip? Traveling abroad? Let us know in the comments below!