Have you thought about setting family language goals for 2016?
January has always been an exciting month for me!
The start of a brand new year is full of hope and possibility.
Many people like to set goals around this time for their professions, business and for their personal lives.
I like to set goals around what I am planning on doing to help my children continue to develop their bilingual skills. I have been doing this for the past three years and have found it to be a helpful exercise for the whole family.
Once my goals are set, I keep a simple journal to see how things are progressing. This has been extremely helpful for me as it helps me to identify what is working and what is not!
I can make course corrections along the way so that I can stay on track.
The bonus for me is that journaling about my children is so motivating. It is so neat to see how they are doing and I know I will treasure these memories once they are older and their early years feel distant.
To help you achieve your goals and keep a fun record of your children’s language development, I have gift for you! I have created The Bilingual Journal to help you document successes, challenges, lessons learned and goals for each month in 2016!
There are also some great thought provoking questions to help you think through your goals! You can start the journal at any time of the year but the sooner the better so get your copy here!
Will you set some language goals for 2016?
If you haven’t done so before, make 2016 the year where you set them for you and your family!
In case you need some inspiration, I asked some of my favorite bloggers for their 2016 language goals and I was really impressed with their responses!
Adriana has set as a goal to create visuals in the three family languages to facilitate her children’s language development! She is specifically making charts for letters, numbers, colors and a few more skills!
Lana is adding a great structure through her goal for 2016. Each of her children will have a notebook and she will encourage them to write down words that they would like to know in a specific language. She plans on guiding them in making a mind map of what it is they want to know and how they can be grouped by categories!
Making time together count
Hanna is planning to play vocabulary games around new themes every week/two weeks and accompanying each one with crafts.
Jonathan’s goal is to spend more time reading stories to his two year old son in Welsh!
Leanna has set an important goal for her family! She wants to get back on track to speaking more in Spanish to her children and exposing them to more Spanish-language media while balancing a new baby in the family!
Seeking the help of others to meet goals
Maria Magdalena noticed that not having native speakers in Chinese around her and her family is having an impact on their language journey. She has then set a goal to ask her neighbor, who is a native Chinese speaker, to help them along in their language adventure.
Laura and her family are meeting with an exchange student from Peru once a week to practice their Spanish. Her goal is to continue these interactions.
Reading, reading, reading
Jaclyn’s daughter will be receiving instruction in Chinese during the school day and so she has set goals to support the other family languages. She is planning to continue her commitment to reading English books to her children as well as teaching her Filipino songs.
Galina’s goal is to keep expanding her children’s vocabulary by reading books and conversing on a variety of topics. She is also going to put greater emphasis on their English development by engaging them in short conversations more often.
Leveraging music and songs
Rita is planning on singing and connecting via Skype in Swedish as much as she can with her new grandson!
Ilze wants to relearn a few more songs and finger games in Latvian since her little one is highly interested in songs at the moment.
Intentionally increasing exposure for a specific language
In addition to continuing to keep a journal about her children’s language development, Annabelle, is focusing this year on helping her children develop their Portuguese skills. Portuguese is her husband’s heritage language and although she does not speak it to her children, she is looking for ways to support their development in this language.
Amanda’s children only use French at school. To add exposure to French, her goal for the year is to spend more time immersed in French. She is even considering spending a month in France so that her children are forced to use French conversationally.
Based on these motivating and ambitions goals, it looks to me like 2016 is going to be a REALLY good year for multilingual families!
Language goals and resolutions can be simple as long as you feel committed to them!
But they can also be detailed and specific! Structure around goals can make it easier for you to internalize how you are going to go about achieving them.
To get more inspiration on how to craft detailed and specific goals, check out these lists and posts from bloggers around the world!
Olena has set up three admirable and detailed goals for her family! She’s even built in some rewards for achieving each goal!
Goal #1 – Speak Ukrainian every two weeks. The reward for reaching this goal will be a fun trip to Chicago!
Goal #2 – Read aloud to her older children in their minority language every Sunday. The reward for reaching this goal will be a trip to Duluth, MN
Goal #3 – Teacher her 4 year old the Cyrillic alphabet by the end of the year. The reward for reaching this goal will be a sticker book for her and a massage sessions for Olena (Love this idea!)
Maria has a very grounding post on balancing life, motherhood and bilingualism! She shares her language goals for 2016 and the mindset she is setting for herself in order to achieve them together as a family.
Now it’s your turn! What will your language goals be for 2016?