Using Animals to Teach A New Language

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Animals are probably not the first thing you think of when you're teaching your child a new language. But with a little creativity, pretty much anything your child loves can be a tool for learning.

Are you and your kids animal lovers? Many of us have pets at home, or simply enjoy learning fun facts about the animals that roam the earth. Read on to find out how animals can make the education process fun.

Naming/describing animals

This is a simple way to begin incorporating your new language into everyday life. If you have a pet in the house, you can ask your little one to describe the pet using the new language. For example, ask “What color is Max’s fur?” or “How many legs does an octopus have?” or "What animals live on a farm?" There are endless ways to apply language to learning about animals!

Different animal sounds

This is a fun one! Did you know that in different countries, animals "sound differently" than in the US? Depending on where you grow up, your ears will hear sounds, including animal sounds, differently than someone from a different place! The influence of a country's culture shows up in fascinating ways in communication.

Here are a few fun examples!


English - "Moo"

Japanese - "Mau Mau"

Urdu - "Beah"


English - "Woof woof"

Spanish "Gua Gua"

Swedish - "Vov vov"

Click here to learn more fun animal sounds from around the globe!

Books and movies about animals

What'ts more fun than reading an interactive book or watching a movie about animals? Even if you don't have a pet at home, or if you can't go to the zoo, you can still have fun learning about animals. If you love the classic "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?," try checking out this Portuguese version.

Training your pet

This is a two-for-one! Did you know that it's common for trainers to train dogs using the German language? You can take a note from them and incorporate the language the next time you're teaching your pet how to 'sit' (sitz) )or 'speak' (gib laut). Find more German commands to train your dog here.

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