You don’t need to speak a foreign language to teach it to your children. In “The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language,” you can find extensive guidance on how to use these resources.
This list is arranged in a way to help you form complete lessons for your children, so some of the resources are repeated in multiple categories. The foreign language resource lists on this website are separated by language, and is here to help you easily find and navigate to the resources you need when you homeschool foreign language.
The Japanese resource page is still being developed and doesn’t have all the teaching Japanese Resources listed in the book “The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language.” We’ll have more resources as I find them and add them. The book is designed to give an overview of the resources easily available for the different languages you might choose to have your child study. Here on the website, the resources are sorted by language so that you can easily find what you need.
If you are looking for the worksheets for “The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language,” you can find them here.
You’ve probably heard of The Rosetta Stone and Duolingo. Here are a couple of other options.
Japanese Pod 101. The “101” classes are free, or you can sign up for premium classes at a cost of $4-$23 per month at this time. There is a lot of information available for free. Audio, video, vocabulary tools, spaced repetition flashcards, PDF lessons, and a forum to talk to other students. A high school student could navigate it. Also check out the Japanese Pod YouTube channel.
Language Tree Japanese. Multiple options available. DVD includes interactive game section.
Easy Languages YouTube Channel and website. Has short videos, around 5 minutes or so, in series covering many languages. French, Spanish, Polish, German, Russian, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hindi, Mandarin (Chinese), Croatian, Cantonese, Thai, Ukrainian, Filipino (Tagalog), Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Swahili, Vietnamese, Malay, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Mongolian, Miskito, and Serbian.
Fluentu.com. Their website says “FluentU brings language learning to life with real world videos!” It costs about $10/month right now. The videos have interactive captions. They have Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Russian, Portuguese.
TripLingo. Their website says, “TripLingo is the ultimate tool for international travelers. Learn essential phrases, instantly translate your voice or connect to a live translator, get a crash course on the local culture and so much more.” There is a language package that has audio, includes slang, and can translate images. Good for planning a real or pretend trip. There are culture notes, travel tools that help with currency conversion, and a tip calculator. You could make a really fun project out of this.
For languages available, the website says that there are “Castilian Spanish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai. An additional 10 languages are supported in the Voice Translator: Greek, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Slovak and Swedish.”
Beelinguapp. This is an app. Some stories are free, but you can pay for more stories if you want. It says you can “Learn Languages with Audio Books.” “Learn Spanish, English, German, Portuguese, Korean, French, Hindi, Russian, Turkish, Chinese, Arabic, Italian and Japanese by reading text side by side!” The app will read books aloud to you while you view both languages, which makes it much easier to figure out what you’re hearing. You can adjust the speed of the reading, go back and click on words you don’t know.
You buy and install the satellite and receiver setup. After that, you can tune in to many foreign language channels broadcast from other countries. There is no monthly fee.
Here is an explanation: It Still Works.
The FTA List website has many tv channels, radio channels and podcasts produced by native speakers, for native speakers. You can search by language.
Galaxy 3c are the two largest foreign content satellites. You can watch some of the channels via the internet.
The TuneIn Radio appallows you to find podcasts and radio in foreign languages. It’s a great search feature.
Free Podcasts at Openculture.com .
Be extremely careful searching this on YouTube because here are “fan dubs” that are probably not appropriate for children. It is called “Jeu de Bleue” in French, but I haven’t located many episodes that are easy to access.
Busuu. This is a website or app. There are grammar units, McGraw-Hill level completion certificates, a vocabulary trainer, and conversations with native speakers available. Free to register and do some lessons. Available in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, Russian, and Arabic.
Lingotopia is a new favorite game of my oldest child. The first day he played, he collected over 100 words (some new and some he already knew). Their official website description says that “Lingotopia is a language learning game about being lost in a city where you don’t speak the language.” I think the concept probably resonates with a lot of kids because my own kids have made up stories on their own about being lost in a city and having to learn the language to survive. At the time of this writing, it’s available in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, and seems to indicate that more languages are coming, including Greek.
Here is a little teaser trailer for the Lingotopia game:
The Japanese Pod 101 has aspects that work for increasing vocabulary, too.
Influent is a favorite vocabulary game of my oldest child. You wander around an open world setting, doing what you like, clicking on things and being told the name. They describe the game as such, “Influent is a video game aimed at inspiring people around the world to pick up a new language by making vocabulary acquisition and proper pronunciation a fun and rewarding experience. Players explore an interactive 3D environment filled with hundreds of selectable, collectible objects scattered throughout. Each object has a name, and sometimes even a description or action word attached, allowing players to assemble Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs into custom vocab lists that can be practiced and mastered, eventually unlocking the Toy Commanderesque Space Vole Laser-Blast Fly-By Time Attack Bananapants Blockparty mode!” Right now it’s available in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, Swedish, Bulgarian, German, Latin, Korean, Russian, Italian, European Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Hindi. More languages are planned.
Mindsnacks is app, available on Apple only. You need to make an account. The app is free to download but only one lesson is free. The games are fun for all ages. I enjoy it and so do my kids. You’d have to log in and out for different players, with separate paid accounts, unless your whole family can progress together, because the game saves your progress. It’s still a fun way to boost vocabulary. Available in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Chinese, Japanese, and some non-Foreign Language subjects.
The example here is in French. There are many versions of bilingual picture dictionaries. We like the Visual DK series.
Memrise is free, but you can purchase a subscription. Available on computer and app. The courses vary by language. It’s very similar to using flashcards or self-quizzing, but you don’t have to hold the cards for your child or pick out what to teach them. Everyone I know hates the speed task, just teach your kids to skip it if they hate it, it’s very frustrating. Many languages are available.
Duolingo is free, but you can purchase a subscription. Duolingo is teaches vocabulary, similar to flashcards or self-quizzing, but adds more games than some other options, and includes more grammar. The vocabulary seems to be presented in a different order than other apps. It teaches beginning skills but does not have conversation practice. Available on computer and app.
Busuu is a website or app. There are grammar units, McGraw-Hill level completion certificates, a vocabulary trainer, and conversations with native speakers available. Free to register and do some lessons. Available in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Turkish, Russian, and Arabic.
Their website says, “TripLingo is the ultimate tool for international travelers. Learn essential phrases, instantly translate your voice or connect to a live translator, get a crash course on the local culture and so much more.” There is a language package that has audio, includes slang, and can translate images. Good for planning a real or pretend trip. There are culture notes, travel tools that help with currency conversion, and a tip calculator. You could make a really fun project out of this. Trip Lingo
Tape flash cards around the house to label things. Older kids can write on post-it notes.
Lingvist Appropriate for AP study. Available as an app. If you want to cover a lot of vocabulary, fast, this is an app that does that. Their website says that “Lingvist is the first language-learning tool to harness the potential of technology and computational science to decrease learning time significantly and help you learn effectively.” It’s based off a founder’s experiences with teaching himself French. The student completes 100 cards per day for rapid learning. It is very dry, but effective for a motivated student, and the pace is fast. The app says it’s suitable for all ages but I think that depends heavily on the motivation of the learner. Mainly French Russian, German, and Spanish, but other languages are available.
Bookboxinc is a YouTube channel that reads many children’s stories aloud and has subtitles to make it easier to read along. There are a limited number of stories for each language, but many languages available, including some rarer ones.
ChildrensBooksForever.com has free children’s books online in many languages. The languages available are Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish.
Gus on the Go is an iPad app game. They describe the app as such: “Learn Spanish, French, Greek and Hebrew by diving into a classic story with a silly twist. Meet new characters, make them move and explore a new language with a fun and familiar story.” Their website has free printable games in more languages, Arabic, Armenian, Cantonese, Croation, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Ingush, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Taiwanese, Taiwanese Mandarin, Vietnamese. Their print shop has some very cute nursery room style alphabet posters for many languages.
Readlang’s website says that you can learn a language by reading whatever you like. Translates words and phrases live on any web page. Use these words to make practice flashcards. This lists many languages.
This website has many short reading passages and videos. You can click the word you don’t know and it will give a translation for it. The website tracks the words you know and tries to give you those words, then put new words in context. Until the website has an idea of what you know, there could be a lot of words that would be confusing, which could be discouraging for a student if they didn’t understand. The input comes from websites, so it’s actually text that you find in real life. It gives goals and achievements and keeps track of how many words you know. There are different modes. There is audio and video by native speakers, but in the reading texts there are some pronunciations that were recorded by non-native speakers. This could work very well for boosting vocabulary after you get beyond the basic level. It is in many languages. Bliu Bliu
Word Brewery is a website that pulls reading passages from newspapers. The website tracks what you know and tries to give you those words, plus new words in context. There is a limited free subscription, plus paid subscriptions with more content and customized language courses. This could work very well for boosting vocabulary after you get beyond the most basic level. It is in many languages.
Clozemaster. Free. Their website says “Clozemaster is a game to learn language in context. It shows you a sentence missing the most difficult word, and the challenge is to fill in the correct word from context.’ Cloze is usually used as a fill-in-the-blank kind of test. It is in many languages.
Make flash cards and post them around the house.
There are many videos that have subtitles. If you read along with the subtitles as the characters speak, you can count that time for both video and reading.
Amazon Kindle has many inexpensive books in foreign languages, for many levels.
Check your local library for books you can check out.
Childrens Books Forever has free children’s books online in many languages. This is also listed in the reading section – don’t forget that children can start off writing by copying stories. The languages available are Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish.
Language Tree Japanese. Multiple options available. DVD includes interactive game section.
Avex. A channel with a lot of dance and music videos. https://www.youtube.com/user/avexnetwork/featured
Xexy kitchen. A cooking channel in Japanese, but they cook all kinds of food. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNq9FtC8F9if6jN_0-SJ-xA
This is a Japanese health magazine. http://www.nhk-book.co.jp/kenko/
Rakuten. Japanese fashion site. https://www.rakuten.co.jp/category/fashion/
Elle magazine. http://www.elle.co.jp/
Asahi News covers sports. https://www.asahi.com/.
· Google Japan
· Yahoo Japan
PockySweets. This channel features games, toys, and various random stuff. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzXjPL7zo0bxhOYDxLJ9YEg
Sasaki Asahi. A beauty and makeup YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfCY70zRsvnnKzQ39mBq0rw
Tofugo. Japanese language and culture. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5elZt69ka5BM1r-XFeENbQ
Kan and Aki’s Channel. A Japanese family of YouTubers. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNHqosTdwFPSK5OQsjFoS5g
Comedy YouTube show. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs4KWxdP-lRc-dgLXE5i8Wg