With Christmas just around the corner you may be trying to think of a unique and interesting gift to give someone that you know they will appreciate and actually use! If you know someone who is learning a language here are a selection of gift ideas that they will love to receive.
Red Bubble language learner sweatshirts are a fun and quirky gift for anyone learning a language.
Search on google or Zazzle for an original T-shirt that you know other people won’t be wearing from the high street!
Over 550 words and word fragments to make up sentences on your fridge. An original present that is great fun for anyone learning the language as well as native speakers. They are available in a variety of languages.
These Flashsticks post-it notes of 75 words to help learners memorise everyday vocabulary on themes such as family, pets and friends.
They are colour coded: blue for masculine words and pink for feminine words.
They also include a free smartphone app to help you master the pronunciation. They are available in a range of languages and levels from beginner to advanced.
iTalki credits: Scroll down to the bottom of the home page and click on “Billing and Payments” to find out about their credit system.
FluentU: Access authentic videos at different levels with onscreen subtitles. You also get flashcards and quizzes to practise the language you have learnt. You could buy the basic subscription at $10 a month or the more popular “Plus” package at £20 per month.
Yabla: Similarly this is a subscription site featuring real-life videos to learn languages. For £7.95 a month you get unlimited access to their growing library of videos. You get to see the transcipt just below the video screen with the English translation. You can pause, rewind, fast forward as well as click on “Slow” to slow down the audio.
Rosetta Stone: You can access this subscription package on your desktop computer or mac, tablet or smart phone. It includes grammar tips and sentence structure as well as just learning vocabulary.
Michel Thomas Language Courses: These courses are very popular amongst language learners. I notice that people who use these CDs have a fantastic understanding of the grammar and how the language works. He uses catchy rhymes to get you to memorise key rules in a funny way. He gets you to actively participate in the lessons so that you are thinking out the answers yourself.
Pimsleur: Split into lessons so you can easily listen to one per day. Topics include greetings, numbers, meals, telling the time and asking for directions. The lessons introduce new vocabulary and structures and allow you to participate in the conversation.
Playing games in the foreign language you are learning is a fun and relaxed way to enjoy learning a language. It is a great way to get the whole family involved in learning the language too.
Search on Amazon for bilingual stories or parallel texts in the language the person you are buying the gift for is learning. There are many good ones available in most languages.
Novels specifically for language learners:
There is a set of Spanish novels intended for people learning Spanish as they are created according to specific level on the Common European Framework of Languages: A1, A2 (beginners), B1, B2 (intermediate), C1, C2 (advanced).
Available as paperback, kindle and audiobook.
They teach the most common vocabulary and grammar in context so you can see how they are used in everyday conversation. The sentences and chapters are short to keep readers interested.
Audiobooks are great for both improving listening and reading – if you can find the paper or kindle version of the same book.
For example, linguist Olly Richards has recently released a set of Short Stories for beginners in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian which are available as a paperback as well as an audiobook.
You could buy your friend, relative or colleague an Audible subscription so they can listen to audiobooks in Spanish and buy the paper copy of the same book.
You could buy your loved one lessons from this London-based company that offers tuition by refugees either online over a platform such as Skype or face-to-face lessons. By booking lessons via Chatterbox not only are you “mastering a language, you are changing a life”. The refugees from countries such as Afghanistan are provided with meaningful employment and what is even better, 50% of revenue and profits are re-invested in projects to help refugee unemployment.
The Little Linguist website This has a wide range of books, CDs, DVDs, games, stickers, badges, flags, wall charts and flashcards in many languages from the most common European language to the less common languages such as Hungarian, Korean, Punjabi and Gujarati. Although aimed at children their products are popular and can also be useful to adult language learners.
For a limited time only we are offering 3 lessons for the price of 2. Lessons can be face-to-face or online over Skype. This is the perfect gift to introduce someone interested in learning a language to get started or to learn a few tips so that they can continue learning on their own.