Don’t learn a language – live a language 1


language learning anywhere

Photo: Artur Staszewski

Make language learning part of your life

A lot of language bloggers have written about effective language learning being linked to making it part of your everyday life.

Many of us don’t live in the country whose language we’re learning. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t live our lives in that language. Olly Richards talks about this in his recent interview.

Below, you’ll find 10 practical ways in which you can incorporate language learning into activities you’d be likely to engage in during your day anyway, even if you weren’t learning a language.

1. Read and watch the news in your target language

Most of us read and watch the news, even if we don’t do it everyday. Next time you feel like checking what’s going on in the world, switch to your target language.

Watching the news or reading newspapers is also a great way to get exposed to ‘good’ language.

So next time you ask your dog to bring you a newspaper, tell him it should be a foreign language one.

language learning reading the news

Winston | Photo: carterse

2. Cook in your target language

Preparing meals is another activity that you’d be doing most days anyway, even if you weren’t learning any foreign languages.

Find new recipes as often as you can. Read them in your target language or watch video tutorials from Youtube chefs explaining how to cook those dishes.

Yummy!

3. Exercise in your target language

If you like exercising at home, find a fitness tutorial in your target language on YouTube.

You can also try looking for an app with fitness videos.

4. Googling something? Do it in your target language

Whatever it is you’re trying to find out from Google, do it in your target language. It could be anything – finding film and book reviews, checking Wikipedia or researching holiday ideas.

5. Write your to-do list in your target language

Most of us would have a to do list anyway. Why write it in your native language when you can use this as an opportunity to learn some new vocabulary or practise what you already know. If you use a calendar app, write your entries in your target language as well.

6. Shop in your target language

Write your shopping list in your target language. There’s no better way to learn some basic vocabulary. A lot of items will come up regularly so you can revise as well.

If you’re shopping online and trying to decide what brand of something to get, look up some reviews of the product in your target language.

language learning shopping

Photo: Bryan Ledgard

7. Use the miracle morning technique

I’ve recently written about adapting Hal Elrod’s miracle morning method to learn languages. Essentially, the idea is to make the most of your morning by learning a little bit of a foreign language. And this is regardless of whether you think you are or not a morning person.

For more details, see my post on the miracle morning of language learning.

8. Listen to podcasts in your target language

Podcasts are a great tool for familiarising yourself with spoken language. Listening to them is also something you can do anywhere – on the bus or train to work and back, at work (if your job doesn’t require any mental effort), whilst having lunch or even after work when preparing dinner or doing housework.

I personally like to listen to podcasts at lunchtime when I go for a walk away from my office.

9. Think out loud in your target language

This might seem strange to you but thinking out loud is a great language learning activity! And yes, that involves talking to yourself. But talking to yourself in a foreign language is better than not talking at all!

language learning thinking in a foreign language

Photo: Alice Bartlett

10. Follow people who tweet in your target language

You use Twitter anyway so you might as well get the information you want from it in your target language.

Bonus tip: use the Motivation Journal

The Motivation Journal

The Motivation Journal is a simple tool I’ve created for you guys to help you keep motivated, stay on track with your goals and celebrate your language learning achievements. Keeping a journal is a great way of staying focused and it can be another way of really ‘living’ the language you’re learning – if you decide to fill it out in your target language every week 🙂

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