Grrr. It’s mid November and it’s getting dark by half past four in the afternoon here in London now.
By 8pm last night, when I headed out for an evening walk, it was dank and misty.
It really felt like autumn.
My mood, though, lifted up as I came across something quirky: a Royal Mail pillar box adorned with a knitted hat or “topper”.
I’d heard before that there’s somebody around my part of London who’s making these things, but this was the first time I’d seen one.
Turns out there’s even a twitter hashtag #postboxhappy via which I’ve discovered a lot of different knitted toppers in the area. Guerrilla knitting may even be a more widespread thing.
Anyway, as I so often do, I took a photo:
This topper, as you can see, features a character with long hair, some scissors, a hair dryer and cord, and a couple of brushes (or is it a pair of tongs)?
And then, thinking about what I was seeing, I had a cute “language learning” idea.
How about we take a photo each day (or every second or third day) for a month of an object that attracts our attention?
Open a new document on Google Docs (or your platform of choice), add the photo and write a little about it underneath.
If you’re a beginner (or pressed for time), a simple sentence or two might be all you can manage.
Intermediate or advanced learners might aim for a full paragraph.
At the very least, by the end of the month you’d maybe have noticed one or two things you’d otherwise have ignored and you’d have a lovely personal memento of one small stage in your language learning journey.
You would have been doing something personal, contextual and creative with your language and that’s always a powerful route to deeper learning.
For extra reinforcement and more interaction, you could share as you go.
One way to do this would be to use the pictures and text in your Doc as a focus for discussion (and for feedback) with your regular language exchange partner or teacher, if have one. (If you don’t maybe find one for the project?)
Another way to share would be to post the photo and your sentence(s) on your social media stream of choice and then wait to see what the world has to say…
Who knows where conversation might lead, in your target language or not?! 🙂