Learning a language at any age can be a daunting experience. Young learners, especially those in dual immersion programs, may become frustrated and discouraged by the challenges of switching between languages and the stress of receiving passing grades. Adult learners might carry self-limiting beliefs about their ability to learn a new language later in life. However, everyone is capable of learning a second language. The process becomes less stressful and more rewarding with fun and engaging tools centered around the student. 

1. Learning Through Movement

Whether a student is in a dual immersion program for English and Spanish or is utilizing resources for how to learn Chinese, Total Physical Response, or TPR, is an excellent second language acquisition method that helps teachers and students. Teachers introduced TPR in classrooms and tutoring sessions after James Asher’s research in the 1960s. Asher observed that mimicking physical movements demonstrates comprehension of the target language without pressuring students to form a verbal response. This approach is effective for learners of all ages and is particularly beneficial for new learners who may not yet possess the knowledge or confidence to speak the target language.

Pairing physical movements with verbal cues helps students build stronger associations between language meaning and form. It adds another layer to an immersive classroom, whether online or in-person. Students can engage in kinesthetic activities alongside visual and aural input, making language learning more accessible when implemented thoughtfully.

2. Learning Through Video

Would you believe that binging a great show can help you learn a new language? There’s more to your favorite forms of entertainment than it may seem. Watching subtitled videos in a target language can be an excellent supplement to more formal language learning programs or immersive language experiences. 

Watching a telenovela won’t make someone a fluent Spanish speaker, but it can increase their familiarity with Spanish vocabulary and grammatical structures, and it will show them relatively authentic conversations between Spanish speakers. Teachers and tutors may integrate videos into their curriculum, or students may choose to watch subtitled movies in their spare time to increase their exposure to the target language. Either way, this fun language learning tool is most effective with structure. These objectives can gauge the comprehension of the plot, the ability to pick up themes and empathize with characters, and the acquisition of specific grammatical conventions and accents. 

Videos capitalize on visual and aural input, and their implementation of storytelling can make learning more meaningful to students and help teachers gauge their progress.

3. Learning Through Community

A language learner might be entering a classroom or moving to a new place with a foreign language. Either way, one of the most imperative building blocks of language acquisition is community. Fellow language learners and fluent speakers are indispensable support systems. They will teach students new things, and as they communicate with them, students will witness the fruits of their labor as they pass through the challenges of second language acquisition. 

Often, textbooks, classrooms, and apps take a prescriptive approach to language learning, meaning students will understand the formal version of the language (sometimes leading to a better grasp of reading and writing than speaking). When students learn in a community, they take a descriptive approach. They will discover how people use the language in everyday life. They’ll catch on to mannerisms, colloquial expressions, and intonations. 

Students can join online groups and attend local or virtual events to find a language-learning community. The friends they make in these circles can become fellow students or informal tutors. They will encourage them, correct them when necessary, and make language learning a personal and rewarding experience.

4. Learning Through Journaling

Practice makes progress. The more someone uses a language, the better they’ll understand it. Writing is one of the pillars of language proficiency, alongside listening, reading, and speaking. While formal writing exercises are beneficial, they may not stick with students long-term. One of the most impactful and creative ways to learn a new language is to keep a diary using that language. 

Journaling is a form of personal expression and leads to self-discovery and healing. By expressing oneself in writing, they train their mind to think in the target language. It makes the language more familiar. The motivation to learn increases when the student has a personal stake in language acquisition.


Everyone can learn a second language at any age. If you are preparing to embark on a second language acquisition journey, you can implement several creative and meaningful practices to make it more enjoyable.