#365daysoflanglearning – Day 31

Hey, guys! We made it! This is the last day of January, the last prompt for the first month of this new year! 😀 Yay!

If you’ve made it this far and done all the prompts, congratulations–you’re amazing!

If you haven’t, well, you’re amazing too! I know I haven’t managed to do all of them, and I’ve been posting them! 😉 Take a look at how many you’ve done this week and what kind of progress you’ve made–and see if you can complete just one more task next month.

Just one.

Anyway, onto today’s prompt. This is mostly for a little progress-measuring, to see how much improvement you’ve made.

Record a video of yourself speaking.

Level I: Speak for 15 seconds.

Level II: Speak for 25 seconds.

Level III: Speak for 45 seconds.

BONUS: Upload the video!

It can be scary, recording yourself, but you can do it–I believe in you! If you do upload the video, be sure to share it so we can all see how much progress you’ve made. 😀

Here’s your pic:

#365daysoflanglearning - Day 31

And I’ll see you all back here tomorrow as we head into February’s prompts, right? 😉

#365daysoflanglearning – Day 30

Hey, guys! We’re almost there–one last push, now!

Today’s prompt is a simple one, for all that it’s not so fun…

Review all the grammar you’ve learnt through the challenge this month.

Ugh, I know. This means looking back at those pins you collected, the exercises you did… and just see if you made progress. See what you can remember. There’s always time to improve, so don’t worry about if you’re perfect, try and see if you’re doing better than you were thirty days ago.

I’m sure you are.

(And, if you’re not, don’t worry–just try and do one exercise today, learn one rule. You can do it!)

Here’s your pic:

#365daysoflanglearning - Day 30

See you tomorrow with January’s last prompt!

#365daysoflanglearning – Day 29

Hi, guys!

So, we started using Pinterest last week to collect some grammar information; today we’re going to use it for something slightly different.

Using Pinterest, find some vocabulary pins related to the language you’re learning.

Level I: Find three pins.

Level II: Find five pins.

Level III: Find seven pins.

Share some of your best here, too! 🙂

Here’s your pic:

#365daysoflanglearning - Day 29

See you tomorrow!

#365daysoflanglearning – Day 28

Hi, guys! We’re drawing close to the end of the month now; how’s January been for you?

For today, I’d like you to do this:

Start making a music playlist in your new language.

Collect together any songs you’ve heard that you like; these could be songs you’ve been listening to as part of the challenge, or those you’ve heard elsewhere. Make a playlist–and if you’d like, make it public! A playlist is a really handy thing to have around if you start losing motivation in your studying because it reminds you why you like your new language! 🙂

Here’s your pic:

#365daysoflanglearning - Day 28

See you tomorrow!

Review: Malala Yousafzai: Warrior With Words by Karen Leggett Abouraya (Multicultural Children’s Book Day)

Hi, guys! So you might have seen me do this last year, but in case you didn’t: today is Multilingual Children’s Book Day! Basically, this is a day founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen to celebrate diversity in children’s literature–and they do this by connecting bloggers (and, this year, Instagrammers, YouTubers, and people on Twitter and Facebook) with books and authors so that we can spread the word about these books.

So, with no further ado, here’s the book I’m reviewing this year.

Summary (from Goodreads.com): 

The inspiring, true story of Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani girl who stands up and speaks out for every child s right to education. Though she and two of her schoolmates were targeted by a Taliban gunman, a life-threatening injury only strengthened her resolve. Malala spoke at the U.N. on her 16th birthday in 2013, nine months after she was shot. Author and journalist Karen Leggett Abouraya, author of Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books, brings Malala’s story to life for young readers. Malala’s story is more than a biography of a brave and outspoken teenager. It is a testament to the power of education to change the world for boys and girls everywhere. “Winner of the California Reading Association’s 2015 EUREKA! Honor Award”


I think most adults have heard of Malala and so I don’t really need to recap the story for you–Leggett Abouraya tells it well, explaining what happened to Malala before she was shot on the bus and it’s nice to learn more about this brave girl and her family. Despite the fact that it is recommended for ages eight to eleven, I think the parts that we might recognise as darker are handled well (the language is straightforward and fairly simplistic) and the fact that Malala is real may capture their imaginations, in some ways, more than a fictional heroine could.

The book is also beautifully illustrated (I love the style of the kind of collage-y pictures!) and, on Amazon, there are versions available in German and Spanish, which, considering the language used, would work especially well for intermediate students or, if you had both books, as a kind of bilingual reader. It would also be a useful book if you want to teach your children/students about Malala, Pakistan, the rights of women or children globally, and about citizenship and their place in their own community.


It might be interesting to compare students’ views on their education before and after reading this book. (However, I have done this–without the book, just asking them–and you will still get students who say they don’t want to come to school, regardless!) Ask them why they think Malala thinks it is so important to go to school? What would the girls do if they came to school and were turned away? What about the boys? For the older students, ask them what this would mean when they were older; how would it be different to what they might do now?

Malala also wrote a blog about her life in Swat Valley when the Taliban came–it was this blog that caused her to be targeted in 2012. Get your older students to try writing their own blog (maybe not online, just in an exercise book or on Word) about their school experience or the book and then, if they enjoy it, let them carry on! It could be a fun thing to do once a week/fortnight for those who want to.

Also, for those of us in the UK: it might be especially useful to use this book as a starting point to talk about Pakistan and British Pakistanis. The UK has the largest Pakistani community in Europe and this could be a chance to talk about diversity here, so maybe see if it’s possible to spend a lesson (or preferably a few) talking about the country and its culture. Odds are, the students will really enjoy learning something new–you could even get them to make posters about what they’ve learnt that can be used to inform students in other years.

Multicultural Children's Book Day

I hope you enjoyed this and manage to check out the book!

Just a few more things before I go:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.