Tag Archives: multilinguality

What does washi tape have to do with learning a language?

Learning English, Swedish, French or Chinese? Or any other language?

To work on your vocabulary when learning a new language I want to share the following tip with you. Put washi tape on items, drawers, shelves and boxes and write the object’s name on it. Remove when you have learnt the word and choose new objects.

Great for bilingual kids too, expanding their vocabulary! At home I use it for my children (TCKs) to not forget words after returning to passport country after expat life.

Washi tape is pretty masking tape, originating from Japan. It is removable and reusable, slightly transparent with a paper feel to it (made from rice paper). It comes in all sorts of patterns and colors; select one that goes well with text for this language learning project! Washi tape is commonly used for scrapbooking, art journaling and other creative projects.

Ready, craft, go! Learn!








My Playhome – useful app for teaching a language to a child

To teach children a language, native or second, I find the app My Playhome useful. It’s a dolls house app complete with a family home and a set of characters that you by drag and drop move around the house, letting them do different things. It is simple yet detailed, which makes it suitable for young kids as well as older ones. Sit next to your child and play together; asking the child to talk about what is happening, describing both the actions and the settings. You can also give instructions to the child from easy ones as “put the book on the table” to “go into the kitchen, open the top right cupboard door and take out a cupcake, have the boy eat half of it and put the other half in the trash can”.

Practice verbs by opening the refrigerator door, pour water in a glass, feed the baby and set the table.

Work on prepositions by putting objects or people in different places.

Vocabulary training is obvious, and don’t forget the adjectives! Turn the lights on and off, bring a red apple from the garden into the living room, and find the most colorful necklace in the master bedroom or put on some soft music.

Don’t forget the silly stuff – like putting dad in the fish tank or letting mom jump on the couch!

The app in itself does not contain words, only pictures.

My Playhome is available in a free Lite version and a regular version. It’s also available for Androids.

The regular version comes with characters of different ethnicity – which I think is a plus – more rooms and a garden.

Have fun!

A Great Source for Building Your Vocabulary

On the second day I spent in Zürich – on the look-see trip – I took the s-bahn into the city center and visited not only one but several bookstores. I absolutely love bookstores and the Swiss ones did not disappoint me. Where I had previously relocated to I had always been fine with English but moving to a part of Switzerland where German (or
Swiss German) ruled I was eager to finally start learning German properly, on location. So I decided to start right away by buying children’s picture / word books for me and my one- year-old. Now these types of young children’s books might have been created to teach mother tongue, but they are of course equally useful for multilingual children, if not more! AND, my point here, for adults too. They are packed with useful words, and by buying books relating to a certain theme I started building my vocabulary around the situations I found important and also knew we were likely to find ourselves in sooner or later. An example is the children’s sturdy board book on going to the doctor’s office and the hospital. Also note the kitchen section 😉 .

One of my friends from a previous expat adventure had told me she was given this type of book as a toddler and her mother had scribbled dates in it to mark the learning of the word (which to them was mother tongue). My friend took on the tradition and made the same thing with her child.