After theater, cooking and discovering cuisine from around the world appears to be the new (and effective) trend to, not learn a language per se, but rather to practice a foreign language. A way to render something both useful palatable!
We didn’t cook to test this method, but we did ponder about it. And here’s our recipe to succeed language learning through cookery.
Language learning through cookery and with your mouth full
More and more workshops allow you to follow cooking lessons… in a foreign language. Lecafevivant proposes, for example, gastronomic workshops, musical discoveries, dancing lessons and play times (where you can choose between cooking, singing, dancing and playing in French), we also have Langueonze which proposes gastronomic workshops to practice French. Why?
Cooking is an entertaining activity which really offers various advantages when it comes to learning a new language:
- It lets you work in a new lexical field, which means new vocabulary and grammar (through actions)
- Associating certain movements with certain words helps to memorize them
- “Learning” in a relaxed environment allows students (or rather those that enrolled themselves in such a workshop) to speak up more easily. As you already know, speaking is important in order to learn…
- Apart from learning a new vocabulary, learning while actually doing the action allows you to put into practice what you’ve learned
- And more than just a language, you also learn a culture: a way of life, gastronomy, agriculture…
If you’re still not convinced, you might be interested to know that linguistic and computer scientists of Newcastle University happen to have worked with this learning method, especially because of its advantages. French languages classes are given at Newcastle University with the goal of showing the efficiency of language learning through cookery. Instructions are given on the computer which guides the students, just as any good old GPS would do. Except that the instructions are given in French and that digital sensors are integrated in the cooking utensils and other equipment to communicate directly with the computer – all of this to make sure that all the instructions are given and understood properly. I suppose you now understand why computer scientists worked on the project… The efficiency of the learning method having been proven, the British researchers are now looking into the possibilities of commercializing the project (more exactly, sensors in utensils, etc…).
The kitchen – high level of communication
I’ll also add that the kitchen is a place where communication is especially important, and rich. It’s an energetic living space where there is a constant exchange of words… However, this learning method is not enough to learn a new language. For it to be really useful, it should be used hand-in-hand, or rather it should be used to help you with more traditional or literary methods (such as our MosaLingua Apps, of course). The kitchen then isn’t a place of learning, but a place of putting into practice what you’ve learned.
And to put into practice what you’ve learned, better than using your own recipe book which are all in English, why not use recipe books that are in a foreign language? We happen to have a small selection of Italian recipes ... An original way for practicing French, Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese, all while learning a new recipe. We can’t promise the first meal will taste the best (especially if you’ve just started learning the language), but successfully cooking a tasty meal is like mastering a language, it’s all about one fundamental principle: practice.