How to Practice a Language as an Introvert

Join a language class, they say. Go to a language exchange at your local bar. But when you’re an introvert and you’re trying to learn a language, those social situations can feel like a bit much. Which doesn’t, of course, mean introverts can’t learn and benefit from learning languages. In fact, by learning a second language an introvert might see their world open up! But before we get to that point, we hear you, we understand there is a hurdle to get over first. So here are some ways to practice language as an introvert.

 

Introverts can learn a new language, too! / photo via Unsplash

 

Music

One of the most fun ways to learn any language is through music, and you can do that in the comfort of your own home! Whether you watch lyric videos on Youtube, find yourself a radio station in your target language, or wait for Spotify to recommend you new music based on your current playlists, music is great for you!

Nobody is going to hear you singing along unless you are really loud, and there is a door between you and the outside world at all times. Search for top twenty charts in other countries, and look for international music in the genre that you prefer. The scope of using music as a language learning tool can feel pretty endless once you start; why not give music a try?

Check out our music recommendations for your language here.

 

Learning a new language? Check out our free placement test to see how your level measures up!

 

Streaming

We all have shows that we love to binge watch on Netflix. So why not use this streaming service (and others) to their full advantage by finding new series to watch — in the language you are trying to learn?

You might discover a show that is your new “Game of Thrones,” or get engrossed in a series with as many series to watch as “CSI” or “Supernatural.” The great thing about streaming providers is that there are usually a multitude of audio and subtitles available for the episodes you are watching which make great study aids. There are thousands of series out there you have never even heard of because you don’t yet speak the language; why not give them a go?

 

File:Piccadilly Cinema screen, Perth.jpg

Watching movies in your target language, with or without subtitles, can be a great way to practice! / photo via Wikimedia

 

Film

Like TV series, films are a great language resource. Whether that is from the comfort of your couch or elsewhere is up to you! Check your local library, cinema, or even if there is a film festival event nearby; there might be a foreign language film that appeals to you. And this is an activity you can do alone if you want to, if a couple of hours watching a film in a cinema theatre appeals. Check in advance if there are subtitles, and learn about the characters in advance. Do whatever you think will help your learning experience, and above all, absorb yourself in the beauty that is international cinema!

Want to know some of our favorites? Take a look at our movie recommendations here.

 

Apps

There are hundreds of language learning apps out there that not only make fitting study into your day easier, but encourage you to speak as well. Apps like Memrise and Duolingo include tasks that involve you speaking into the microphone on your phone. This will help you get more comfortable speaking out loud, get your pronunciation perfect, and generally make you feel more comfortable with your new words.

In addition, apps like these encourage interaction with other learners through chat bubbles, meaning you can communicate as much or little as you want to in your own time. This gives us introverts all the time we need to prepare for these conversations!

 

man holding phone

Apps can be a great way to practice – some even pair you with native speakers. / photo via Unsplash

 

Know yourself

Above all, don’t put yourself through something that will not only leave you uncomfortable, but might also make you lose interest in learning. Being in a social situation can be draining, and it is important to be honest with yourself about how much interaction you can take.

The first time you do anything new can be an anxious experience for anyone, so prepare yourself as much as you can in advance. If it is a language class find out as much as you can about how the lesson is structured including what activities are used, if there are ice-breakers, how many people attend, and so on. If it is a language exchange, research previous sessions on the venue’s website or Facebook page. You will be able to tell by photos and comments if this is the place for you or not!

However you are learning, we wish you successful studies!

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