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Cooking/Food and Language Learning

Cooking shows, diet preparation, and baking secrets are becoming popular topics on the internet. And with the advent of YouTube, webinars, and Instagram, access to informative videos has become more convenient and faster than ever before!

You can browse through hundreds of useful clips and save them for future reference. You can even subscribe to multiple channels and share your insights in the comments section.

Now, you may be wondering what cooking has to do with helping you learn a language -

We’re here to share with you just some of the benefits that language learners can experience from using cooking as a tool in their learning process. With the accessibility of the internet, more students can rely on cooking as a way to get better at talking, listening, reading, and writing.

1. Build your reading & communication skills:

There is no better way to learn about cooking and a language than for a food lover to visit a restaurant run by locals from the country where you are learning the language. In addition to reading the menu in a new language, you can also talk with staff about the cooking methods and ingredients used to make a dish.

Surrounding yourself with a language all the time and practicing your skills on those who speak it as their mother tongue will help you in your ability to pronounce and communicate effectively. Who knows, you may be able to further expand your knowledge about how to make ice cream or maybe even a pizza and improve your language learning skills helping to keep you motivated.

2. Increase vocabulary & retention:

From ingredients to tools and processes, you will find your cooking adventures rich with culinary terminology. Being able to physically interact with vocabularies such as the different spices and tools helps you to create connections and remember the terms more easily. Food preparation can increase appreciation of the processes involved such as food processing, steaming, or double boiling.

You can even take it to the next step and label the tools you are using in the kitchen. For example, you remove the skin of a carrot with a peeler. You rub the chicken with lemon. This can be achieved easily by attaching notes to these common tools and ingredients in the language you’re learning so you’re surrounded by them during your time in the kitchen.

Learn the most used action words in the kitchen. Before diving into blogs, videos, and cookbooks in the language you are learning, some very simple culinary recipes should be read quickly so that you do not feel frustrated or disappointed on your first attempt. Actions such as cut, chop, boil, and grate will be useful to know before starting to read more complex recipes.

3. Create connections:

There is something about food that can instantly connect people regardless of race, lifestyle, or life stage. At networking events where food is present, refreshments served can be the beginning of a new conversation.

Food heritage presents history, art, culture, and values. Interesting discussions, proposals, invitations, and curiosity can all happen in the setting of a meal.

A language is a tool for relating to others and so is preparing food. When you have the experience and skills to cook, you can hit any question with confidence or share an insight. When you get a chance to talk to others about what you know, you become more fluent and more responsive.

Food is a great human connector so use it to enhance your relationship with other people and develop your communication skills.


Cooking can be an awesome resource to improve your language skills. If you’re still not into cooking, reflect on the hobbies you do enjoy doing. You may be able to identify a potentially useful leisure pursuit and transform it into a language learning tool.

Learning a language doesn’t have to be boring. There are many ways to approach it, so think outside the box!

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