Nowadays learning a foreign language has become a very important requirement both for professional and personal purposes, but we all know how hard can it be to keep it up when our schedule is full of appointments and our daily life is incredibly busy. I have been learning foreign languages for 10 years now and I know how hard can it be to find some time to keep learning/practicing your target language.
Contrary to popular belief learning a language isn’t just learning grammar from a textbook and doesn’t always require your full attention on one assignment, you can also learn in an easier, more subtle way. How?
Newspaper: try to read the news in your target language. You can easily download a digital newspaper on your smartphone and read it on your way to work/school/etc. The key to make this exercise effective is NOT to focus on understanding all the words you read, but to understand the general meaning of what you read. Eventually, if you have time, you can note down the words you don’t know in a vocabulary notebook.
Radio: if you struggle with listening to a foreign language, the old-fashioned habit of listening to the radio is an awesome way to overcome the problem. Again, you can find many useful materials online or download apps on your smartphone, just search “radio + name of your target language”. Listening will enable you to familiarize more with the sound of the language if you’re a beginner or it will help you learn more conversational language, slang, idioms and more. This can also help as preparation for a conversation or a lesson with a native speaker here on Verbling.
Movies: It’s been a long stressful day and you want to reward yourself with some relaxing activity, what’s better than a movie? You could seize the opportunity and switch the language to your target language, put subtitles on if you’re not comfortable enough to listen to the movie only, but try to focus on what you are listening to rather than only reading the subtitles. This works as a great listening exercise, plus you will learn lots of new words and idioms!
Social media: You won’t believe it, but social media can actually help you learn your target language! The secret is to follow accounts you are interested in, maybe a travel blog or a food blog in your target language. In your spare time, instead of scrolling through your Instagram or Twitter timeline pointlessly, search the accounts you followed, read their posts and captions. This way you will practice reading and comprehension skills without even noticing!