Cooking Your Way Through the English Language

5566567609_2682621d50_zLearning a new language by cooking and studying recipes can teach you more than just vocabulary words. Exploring a country’s food gives non-natives a new way to understand and experience the country’s culture. These tips and ideas for finding recipes for ESL students will give non-native speakers a fun way to explore the English language and American culture.

-Start by learning food vocabulary. Make flash cards to understand commonly used cooking terms like bake, blend, boil, broil, chop, fry, grate, roast, saute, simmer, toast, whip, and others to make recipes for ESL students easier to understand.

-Watch cooking shows with English speakers on television or online. Turn on the Food Network or Cooking Channel, or watch a few of the recipe video tutorials available on YouTube. Listening to the chef describe the cooking process will help you understand the pronunciations and context of each of the words in a recipe.

-To practice food vocabulary words, translate your own personal favorite recipes into English. Compile an English-language cookbook of your family’s favorite dishes.

-Recruit your classmates to help you plan and cook a meal that features American classics. Speak in English as much as possible during the process. This will help you expand your vocabulary while improving your ability to give and receive directions in English.

-Search through English-language cookbooks or the Internet to find recipes for traditional American favorites, including corn bread, biscuits, sloppy joes, hamburgers, hot dogs, apple pie, and chocolate chip cookies. These are all simple, quick, and easy-to-understand recipes for ESL students to prepare.

-As you search for classic recipes for ESL students, expand your cultural knowledge even more by looking at the social or cultural context of each food. You’ll learn, for example, that hot dogs are a staple at baseball stadiums across the country, and chocolate chip cookies are better with a glass of cold milk.

Photo Credit: yassan-yukky

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