Do you have language lovers on your holiday list? If you’re not a language lover or second language learner yourself, I’ll bet you know one! Charlemagne’s idea that “To learn a second language is to have a second soul” is one of my favourite thoughts. It’s really invigorating to gain full command of a language and speak it fluently! I learned to speak Spanish in 2014-2015 after 8 months of intensive classes and it just felt so good to be fluent!
Stuck on what to get language lovers on your list? I’ve been digging through the web for you, so you can relax and do your Black Friday shopping! Check out the gifts below. A lot of these sites have special discounts if you buy this week, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So, keep that in mind if you have a lot of shopping to do.
7 Awesome Gifts for Language Learners
Yes, Duolinguo is free and a great way to start out, but when you want a more structured approach, online language courses are the way to go. They provide structured units, interactive audio lessons, written exercises and more advanced motivational systems to keep your learning in check. Why not send an online, easy to use language learning system as a gift to that family member or friend who is itching to learn a new language? Here are the details on a new software I found!
- Speak and repeat phrases you hear, then rate their difficulty
- Have a mini conversation with the computer with interactive audio lessons
- “Survival Kits” so you can grab vocabulary and phrases that would be helpful for a weekend trip away, for example.
Click this special link to Get $50 off any foreign language software course from Rocket. Actually, they have a 60% off Black Friday Sale for the next 3 days, too, so click here if you want to check that out! I’ll be writing a review for a few language software packages soon, so stay tuned. Have you used one you love? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Okay, we all know some holiday gifts are just meant to be fun! Maybe you don’t have the budget to splurge for a language course, or are looking for a smaller gift to pop into a stocking or give to a co-worker at your company’s annual gift exchange.
Zazzle is an awesome store where you can find affordable, smaller gifts. Check out a few by clicking the t-shirt to the right and then browsing. You can customize just about everything on Zazzle, too!
I have to tell you, I LOVE poetry magnets. I got my first set as a birthday gifts years ago and they are amazing! Stick them on your magnetic whiteboard or fridge, rearrange the words, and get creative! Make inspirational quotes to brighten up your day, write a poem, make a list of calming verbs to help you relax at the end of a long week.
Even in your native language, poetry magnets are the best! Did you know, though, that they come in different languages?! How exciting is that? Help language lovers practice their verbs, and make phrases every day.
Grab poetry magnets from Magnetic Poetry in French, Italian, German and many other languages from Amazon here, if you’re in the US or Canada. If you’re in the UK or EU, please click here.
Travel Scrabble, anyone? If you know a language lover, I’m willing to bet they’re a bit of a word geek, too. I used to love Scrabble as a kid, and I really miss playing it on the weekends. What better way to pass time on a train, plane, or road trip during the holidays than playing Scrabble? It’s small, compact and lets you learn on the go.
Grab a Travel Scrabble for the language you are learning, or have even more fun by playing a multilingual game!
Language books are a given, but why not give your favourite language lover a more comical gift of slang words and swears in the language they’re learning. We all know they are useful and not usually taught in language classes! (Although, a two hour class devoted to palabrotas (swears) in my Spanish class a couple years ago was an interesting surprise!) Here are a few you can check out (click the photos). One of them, Uglier Than A Monkey’s Armpit, was even written by Dr. Robert Vanderplank, one of my linguistics profs from the University of Oxford!
Oh, and if you’re ordering books from Amazon, don’t forget that you can get all your holiday gifts delivered for free by using Amazon Prime’s free 30 day trial! You can always cancel it after 30 days if you don’t like it, so why not ship your gifts for free? Click here to check it out if you’re in North America, or here if you’re in the UK or Europe.
6. Language Magazine Subscriptions
Real, authentic material is one of the keys to learning a language. Why not give your language lover a subscription to an authentic magazine? I found this website that has a bunch of options for languages. While I haven’t tried them all, I think they’d make a great gift! Some of them even come with audio guides and teacher’s notes, for the teachers on your list.
I truly believe that practice, practice, practice is a key to speaking fluency. The more language input you have, the better, but if you don’t practice, speaking fluency just won’t happen. Phrase-a-day calendars let your gift keep giving all year long.
Living Language has a few great ones you can find here. Choose the language you prefer – there are a lot available! To search for these on Amazon UK instead, click here.
Bonus: Fun Travel Organization Items
Now, if the language lovers you know are like me, they LOVE to travel, too! Why not give them a travel-related gift? Personally, I love to learn new ways to pack and fit more in my suitcase! I’ve learned a lot over the last few years, actually, since I was definitely not the best at visually planning out my packing plans! Just click on the images to check them out!
How cool is this? Lonely Planet is one of my favourite travel guide books, and they have a book on How to Pack! Not only is it a book, but it’s got tear-out and keep packing lists to keep you organized. Sounds like an awesome gift to me!
I definitely can’t travel without my packing cubes! I even brought them to Holland for my three month stay here. You can fit SO much more than it looks like you can in these. Click the photo to the right to check them out.
I had to include this one here, as it turns into three different mini-bags for different sized travel and language learning adventures!
What a neat gift! Keep your language lovers and travel companions super organized with this gift from Travel Lighter by clicking the photo. To search for these packing cubes and toiletries bags if you live in the UK or Europe, click here instead.
Have you used any of these products? Have you bought any as gifts? I’d love to get a comments thread started on your experiences with these products, so please comment below!
Happy Holiday Shopping!
P.S. For all the photography buffs out there, I took the main photo for today’s post in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in February 2011 during my “Snow Dog Winter Party”. My Labrador, Kiara, and her four-legged buddies were sliding down hills in the Mill Creek ravine, tummy first (no joke!).
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