Adults and Kids: Relaxing and fun ways to practice English during the holidays
The winter holidays are here in South America. This is the perfect time to relax and forget about studying. But, as you know, the best way to learn languages is to keep contact with it as much as possible. So how can you practice English without making much effort? Here are some relaxing and fun ways to practice English during the holidays.
Apps and Websites
A small change in your routine can make a huge difference to your English. Do you read the news? Change your homepage to The Guardian or The Huffington Post. If you are more interested in local news, then find local news in English, such as the Buenos Aires Times. If you read the news on your smartphone, download the Guardian App.
For beginners, and maybe for your children, Duolingo and other language learning apps can be a fun way to practice whenever you have a spare 5 minutes. If you want a very relaxed and quite silly way to spend your time, check out 9Gag. It is mostly just people putting interesting pictures and funny anecdotes, but, any contact with English is good contact! Be careful though, it is quite addictive.
Grab a cup of tea (or a mojito), find a nice chair, close your eyes, relax, and let someone tell you a story. Some people say that this is a great way to calm the mind before sleeping.
Here are some classic stories to download to your phone or other device. Youtube has a lot of other options too.
It isn’t just a relaxing method; I have met people who have learnt English almost entirely through audiobooks.
Watching Films and Series
Try to learn this sentence to say to your partner and friends before watching a film: “I don’t like watching dubbed films. Can we put the subtitles on?” Simply listening to English in films and series will subtly help your English. If you can watch without subtitles, even better!
Try to accustom your children to watching their programmes in English as well. Once they get used to it, they won’t even think about it.
Car Journey games
If you are lucky enough to be driving somewhere during the holidays, play some little games in English that everyone can get involved in.
With younger children play “I spy”, in which you say the first letter of something you can see, or the colour of something you can see, and the others have to guess what you are talking about.
You can play the memory game, “I went to the supermarket and I bought…” in which each person must remember all things that have been bought (in order!) and add one extra item to the end.
Another excellent game, that can be adapted for young children or even just for adults, is ‘twenty questions’. For children, choose a place, person or thing, and allow them to ask any questions with ‘yes’ and ‘no‘ answers, to work out what it is. For adults, it is normally better just to do it with people.
Person A is thinking of Lionel Messi
Person B: “Is it a woman?”
Person A: “No.”
Person B: “Is he an actor?
Person A: “No.”
Person B: “Is he a sportsman?”
Person A: Yes!
Person B: “Does he play tennis?”.
Here are some other games you can play in the car.
If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments, let us know in the comments section below. Have a great holiday!
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