10 Quick Ways to Practice Your Target Language Daily
So you’ve started learning a new language, and you’re really enjoying it, and what you don’t want to do now is lose interest because of a lack of practice. But how do you wedge language practice into an already busy routine? Here are ten quick suggestions that will help!
1. Talk to yourself
Okay, that might come across as odd, but during your morning routine of shower, and breakfast, and whatever else it is you do to start your day, why not go through a little vocabulary in your head? It could be simple things like the words for the shower, soap, and towel you use in your bathroom, or it might even be making a mental list of things to do throughout the day. Whichever works for you!
Admittedly, you should probably know just enough language to change the language settings on your phone, tablet, Fitbit, and so on back if you need to, but if you get into the regular habit of having all these devices in your target language it’s a small and simple way of immersing yourself in what you are trying to learn.
3. Social media
The same is true of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It’s only small amounts of vocabulary, but once you start picking up the words for tweets, likes, and follows, and all the other language we so regularly use to converse online, these words will become second nature to you — giving you room to pick up new ones!
And while we’re on the subject of social media, there is nothing stopping you updating your Facebook status or tweeting something in your target language as well. Who knows, you might meet some incredible people out there who speak that language who are willing to speak to you!
5. Commute and travel
Whether you’re working, studying, or travelling, there is no reason you can’t learn a little language on the go. This could be listening to a podcast in your target language, getting to grips with vocabulary lists you last learned, or whatever other things you can fit into your commute that suits you.
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6. Keep up to date
We know, the news can be a very miserable thing to read, yet with so many of us drawn to it anyway, why not use that to your advantage? Find a newspaper or news site in your target language, even if it’s a simplified one aimed at a younger audience. Choose an article and try to work out the things you don’t know, either highlighting them to look up later, or checking them there and then once you’re made an attempt.
It could be a simple journal, it might be a to do list to remind yourself of what you need to do throughout the day. But for every don’t forget to call… or pick up… from the store, you’re practicing vocabulary and grammar in a natural setting in a normal way. What better way to immerse yourself in a language than that?
There are so many apps out there that might help you practice a language, keeping simple vocabulary and grammar fresh in your mind. Find one that’s right for you! And it doesn’t even have to be a language app if you don’t want it to be. Do you write and use a lot of surveys? Use graphic design tools to make banners and posters? Why not do any of the things you normally do on your phone or tablet in your target language instead?
If cooking is something you enjoying, let it become your language learning friend. From cookbooks in the language you’re learning to reading the ingredients and other information on the backs of packs of imported food, this is a great way to inject a little language into your day without even trying all that much!
10. Keep an eye out
Your target language might be everywhere! Perhaps it’s in the care label of the clothes you buy, or a phrase is used on an advertising poster somewhere. Once you start learning a language and looking for it you’ll be surprised where you might see it! And if you don’t, well. What’s stopping you from thinking I wonder what that word is in… as you go through your day? Make a list, make a guess, then look it up!
In short, there are so many ways you can add a little language learning to your day, that it just becomes a matter of which method suits you best. What ways of learning work for you?