I love infusing gratitude into my language classes. I think it’s an important life lesson. It also provides some great context within which to teach languages.
One of my very favorite activities is gratitude journalling. I discovered these during a very difficult period of my life. I had to write down, every day, no fewer than 25 things to be grateful for. It can be really hard, especially when you’re feeling down. However, it forces you to search for the good things, no matter how small they might be. For example, a sunny day or a cup of peppermint tea.
These are great in language class too. I love to make students do a similar activity. I tend to do them in much shorter versions. For example, write 5 things you’re grateful for or 10 things you’re grateful for.
- people you are grateful for.
2. A color you love.
3. A favourite activity.
4. A great day you’ll have in the future.
5. Things that are nice to look at.
I also like to combine them with some of the work we do with verb tenses. So for example, “Thank you for that structure. Thank you for being a good friend. Thank you for having helped me,” et cetera.
I love writing thank you cards. I have students pull up names out of a bag of other people in the class. They have to write them a short thank you card for something that they did for them.
We also do this for other teachers in the building. I provide a short translation on the bottom. The gratitude wall is fun. I love using seasonal themed visuals like cut out leaves or flowers and everybody writes something in the target language that they’re grateful for. I also love Brene Brown’s Gratitude Jar. She’d have her family put things they’re thankful for in a jar. This is so much fun to do as a class.
Four Ways to Practice Gratitude and Learn a Language
- Journal in your target language.
- Think about ANY new word you learned each day and be grateful.
- Appreciate that we live in as era where it is possible to learn any language anywhere.
- Document your progress each week by recording yourself. Listen later and appreciate how much you have progressed.
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