In today’s globalized world, it is so important and useful to know at least one other language. During this time of quarantine and social distancing, this is a perfect activity to pick up since many people have a lot more free time on their hands! Many people associate learning a language as an educational experience that can be boring or time-consuming.
But although it is true that learning a language takes time and dedication, it can also be fun! If you incorporate language learning into your daily life and via activities that you already enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick to it and actually have fun with it.
Here are 5 ways you can learn a language and enjoy it:
1. Download an app
There’s an app for that! Download a language app so you can learn vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar. For example, if you’ve always wanted to learn Spanish, language apps like Babbel have structured learning paths that are gamified and very engaging. Plus, a major benefit of using an app is that you can do a lesson anytime, anywhere. All you need is your device!
Traditional educational settings such as the classroom aren’t always practical, especially when we are staying at home! So using an app gives you the availability to learn in a structured environment but with the flexibility to make it work for you. This also means you can advance as quickly as you would like.
2. Watch (or re-watch) movies and TV shows in the foreign language
Love watching movies and TV shows? Watch them in the foreign language you are learning to make it entertaining and educational. You can watch new films with subtitles or re-watch your favorites where you know every line and can focus on the accents, vocabulary and expression.
Streaming platforms like Netflix make it easy to watch a show or content with subtitles, and you can also search for films/shows created in the language you are learning. Pause as you go to write down key words or phrases you want to remember, rewind to hear the tone or expression of standout phrases, and practice saying them.
3. Play games and trivia
Games are a way to expand your vocabulary without making language learning your entire focus. Pick your favorite game, from Scrabble to Trivia, and have fun with it! Bonus if you can play with native speakers so you can pick up on some phrases and expressions that come out more naturally while playing games.
When you are just starting to play it in the foreign language, you can also practice playing by yourself so you can get more familiar with vocabulary, etc.
4. Read recipes and follow cooking videos in a foreign language
Food is such an integral part of culture, and learning the vocabulary as well as local dishes will advance your language learning and help you feel more connected to the process and language itself. Buy yourself a cookbook in the foreign language and follow the recipes, learning as you go. You can also follow cooking videos if you are an auditory learner. Reading and comprehension are both crucial, and this way you can do both and eat good food!
Whenever you go to the grocery store and spend time in your kitchen, practice using the vocabulary you learn so it sticks.
5. Find online friends
Above all, it is essential to practice and use your language skills! Find online friends, preferably native speakers, so you can engage in conversation. You’ll find that your language skills will significantly advance if you do so.
You can search for conversation partners online if you prefer to do a language exchange. This way, each person speaks with a native speaker and you can help one another along with advancing in a language. There are many sites and online platforms where you can meet native speakers to converse with.
If you have fun and maintain a positive attitude, you will start learning in no time. Also, seeing results is a great way to stay motivated to keep on practicing.