When you’re trying to learn a new language, of course, there’s the textbook approach of sitting through a class, reading books, and doing written exercises. But why not take a more interactive and engaging approach to foreign language learning?
Integrating a new language into your daily routine gives you a hands-on learning experience, where you’re immersing yourself in the new language, making it a part of your regular life and giving yourself a chance to approach it from a more practical angle.
For anyone looking to work as a translator or interpreter, you’ll need to know the nuances and real expressions of a language, and making it a part of your everyday routine is the easiest way to learn that. Here are a few ways to help inject language learning into your routine to achieve this.
Embrace the Media
Whether it’s movies, music, or comic books, there’s something out there in every language. Why stick to boring textbooks and exercises, when you can get your language exposure from these entertaining sources? If you’re not totally comfortable watching a movie in a brand-new language, choose a movie you’ve seen before and watch it with subtitles, so you can follow along with the dialogue you’re already familiar with. These are excellent learning tools because they’re entertaining – which is vital in helping to keep your attention through the learning process – and they are using ‘authentic’ language, which is to say, what you hear in movies, music, and so forth is typically how people normally speak. That’s important if you want to speak the language like a native speaker and not like a textbook!
In the same way that you would want to find a partner to hit the gym with or quit smoking with, finding a language learning partner can help motivate you, keep you in check and help push you forward. Whether it’s someone who’s learning the language with you or a native speaker who is willing to help you along, it’s great to have someone to get some practice in conversation.
We’re surrounded by all forms of technology daily, so why not use these things to our advantage with language learning? Something as simple as changing the language setting in your phone to the one you’re learning can be a great help in pushing you to learn even a small number of new words. There are also incredible online resources to turn to, and TESL-EJ outlines these Online Tools for Language Teaching in a helpful guide. If you’re a social media user – and really, who isn’t? – why not try putting out some Tweets in your new language? Respecting Twitter’s 140-character limit can be challenging in a different language!
Look at What’s Around You
No matter what language you’re speaking, there’s a word for everything. Check out what’s all around you and figure out what it’s called in your new language. Sticky notes are great for this, but if you’d prefer something online, Quizlet has a variety of flashcard sets with real life objects that can help you assign new language to familiar things.
You can’t learn how to swim unless you jump in the water – the same is true for language. You can read as much as you want, but there comes a time when you’ve got to speak the language and write in the language. Only then can you see where you need to make improvements and where the problems are in your understanding. If you want a fast and interactive grammar and spelling checker, while you’re learning to write in a new language, Quill is a terrific online resource. And, if you’d prefer having a real person check over your written work, Essayroo can provide an experienced professional to give you suggestions for making your writing even better. If you’re stuck on a grammatical question, Academized or Assignment help are your best resources for finding an answer to those tricky problems.
Have Fun with Foreign Language Learning!
Foreign language learning is always easier when it’s fun. It keeps you engaged and wanting to keep going. When it gets stale, you can quickly lose interest. There are some great interactive ways to have fun with your language learning, so it actually doesn’t even feel like learning. Memrise is just one online resource that injects fun and laughter into your learning, so you stay motivated to keep at it. The best part about Memrise is that you can take it anywhere with you by downloading it to your device, then compete with your friends while learning. Don’t let your learning get boring, because if it does, you will almost certainly quit altogether.
Finding new ways to approach language learning can have an immense impact on how well you learn, and whether or not you actually stick with your learning. When things get too difficult or boring, it’s easy to want to quit – avoid that altogether by keeping your foreign language learning an exciting and interactive experience.