A gift guide for language learners can help you find the gift you need for the people in your life who are learning to speak another language.
It’s that time of year again…the time when we scramble to get kids something useful, yet fun.
One of the things that my kids really enjoy is this mess-free way of painting Chinese calligraphy. Teagas Reusable Chinese Calligraphy Brush Water Writing Magic Cloth for Chinese Calligraphy Practice, 2 Pcs Set It’s reusable, and while it looks like you’re painting with black ink, in reality it’s just water and a special kind of reusable cloth. One fantastic thing about this gift is that my children love it so much that they also use it to write in English and French. I guess there’s just something fun about a magical brush that uses water but looks like ink.
Another special Chinese language item are Disney movies dubbed in Chinese. A favorite movie of my children’s is Wall-E . It’s perfect for non-fluent speakers, because so much of the movie is visual. Wall-E doesn’t speak, so the dialogue is limited, making it a lot easier to follow along. Be aware that a lot of these DVDs won’t play on all DVD players, so if you want to play these DVDs, you need to get the right kind of DVD player, or use a program that can play them.
Region-free DVD players aren’t expensive, so it’s really worth investing in one…and come to think of it, they’d make a perfect gift!
Of course, if you’d like to give a gift for Spanish or French speakers, you’ll be able to find it much more easily. Many DVDs come with a track for English, Spanish, and French. My girls are hoping for the new Beauty and the Beast.
My daughters are big fans of American Girl dolls, and they love to dress their dolls up in Chinese clothing and pretend that they are traveling to China. They love dresses like these. You can get a matching little girl sized dress, too.
They come in many colors, so pick your favorite!
KLOO has games designed to help a student learn a language by using it to interact. Spanish, French, and German games are really easy to find.
Some people (older children and adults) appreciate a game designed to teach a language, but other people (younger children) just want a game to look fun. I really like Granna’s games because they are designed to promote imaginative play. The Four Seasons of the Year game looks very sweet for the little Francophiles in your life.
BrainBox games are educational, but they teach other things besides language. You can get dual credit and cover geography and French at the same time.
Where I grew up, Mexican-style blankets were commonplace, and so comfy. We bought them in farm supply stores and had to break them in, but the new styles are so soft, and come with nice packaging. I’ve been told they make great yoga blankets. I have one on my own wishlist. These would be a lot of fun for a teen learning Spanish, and come in so many colors.
The last items on the gift list are cookbooks from across the world. As an adult, I tend to use websites for my recipes, but my children still get their recipes from cookbooks.
Diana Kennedy has many recipes for Mexican cuisine. Some of the recipes are not anything I’d ever actually cook, but it’s fascinating to read, and Diana Kennedy has a reputation for authenticity in her recipes.
Remember that the holidays are a great time to have foreign language fun, too!