Learning a foreign language is not easy, but the outcome is extremely rewarding. But the key to mastering a foreign language is to use it as much as you can, otherwise, some notions will get lost and you will have to start all over again.
Especially during the holidays, when you don’t have classes or assignments to help you improve your knowledge, you need to come up with new ways to keep practicing. But it does not mean you need to stick to the curriculum. There are countless fun ways to keep improving your language skills and below are just seven of them.
Approach it as if you were a child
Think of it this way: how did you manage to learn your native language? Remember those funny songs that helped you learn the numbers and the alphabet? This is exactly the way you should approach learning a new language now. Start with simple words and notions and work your way towards more complicated ones in time.
Children’s books are the perfect way to start, as well as light exercises and games. If you can, find some books that children in that country use in the first and second grade. Chances are, they will help you more than a dense and complicated workbook would.
By setting the ground with more informal materials, you will find it much easier to move on to more complicated ones afterward.
Watch movies and tv shows
If you were to ask any non-native English speaker where they learned the language, most of them will tell you that, even though they did take classes or learned some of it in school, movies and tv shows were their primary source for expanding their vocabulary. Once you have some basic notions, start watching movies and tv shows with the original audio and set the subtitles in your native language. It will help you improve both your listening and speaking skills. On one hand, you will get the change to hear how natives pronounce certain words, and on the other hand, you will get used to the speed at which they speak.
If you want to take things a bit further, watch them with original subtitles as well, although this requires you to know a bit more than the basics. Make use of Netflix and other streaming platforms’ abundance of subtitle languages for this. Suddenly, your monthly subscription will start to be worth the money.
Download language learning apps
The internet is full of all kinds of apps that help learners improve their language skills. The reason why these apps are so successful is because their courses are planned based on difficulty levels. At first, you will start with some basic notions, and as you master those, you will get to move on to more advanced ones.
You can set up the difficulty level based on your knowledge and some apps even help you with this by asking you to take a short test when setting up your profile, just as teachers used to do at the beginning of the school year. Even top writers form some of the best Russian translation services found on PickWriters use language apps to always train their skills and make sure they get their daily practice.
Listen to music
Music is one of the best ways you can learn new things. Nursery rhymes, for example, help children remember things much faster, as they get to memorize words or phrases in a playful way. Listening to recent music in the language you want to learn will help you get familiar with popular phrases and words and speak like a local.
The key to learning a language is to start thinking in that language, instead of translating things in your mind. Music helps you do so, as you tend to imagine the things that are being sung about.
Play Board games
Believe it or not, playing board games can help tremendously in learning a new language. The key is to find those games that help you make use of your skills, such as Activity, Charades or Scrabble. Nowadays, you can find almost any board game translated into a different language, so all you need to do is just a simple search on Google.
Try playing those games with native speakers or people who want to, just as you, fathom their knowledge. Chances are, you will end up having a more fun and educative night than you think.
Make friends online
Speaking with natives is one of the best ways you can learn a foreign language, and now you have the means to do so from the comfort of your home. Look online and research learning communities where you can practice your skills.
Making friends online is much easier than you think, especially now, when social media is at its prime. Reddit, for example, has a community for almost every country. Join those communities and read treads and news in that particular language. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversations and ask for native speakers to correct you when necessary.
Watch YouTube Videos
Living in the era of YouTube has its advantages, so why not make use of them? Just like with movies and TV shows, watching YouTube videos of foreign influencers and help you practice your listening and speaking skills.
The key is to find YouTubers that discuss subjects that you are passionate about. This way, you will at least have a general idea about what they are saying and will slowly start to understand certain terminologies.
Watching foreign YouTubers will also help you learn some things about their culture as well. This way, you will learn to appreciate the language more and understand how certain cultural aspects have affected it.
Elisa Abbott discovered her passion for writing at a young age. In time, she has found ways to combine her affinity for writing whit her other passions, such as sports, music, travel, and technology by becoming a freelance writer. Her unquestioned interest in technology is what made her decide to study Computer Science and, in her free time, write Sci-Fi short stories which she is very proud of.