Being bilingual or trilingual can seriously boost your job prospects. However, learning a language can feel like an insurmountable task. Unless you’re in school studying it academically, you don’t have a chance, right?
Actually, anyone can learn a new language without having to make huge changes in their day to day life. All you have to do is add in some small new habits every day, and you’ll be picking up vocabulary in no time.
If you need some ideas for how to incorporate language learning habits into your everyday life, read on.
10 Ways to Integrate Learning a Foreign Language Into Your Daily Routine
1. Speak As Much As You Can in Your Target Language
No matter how much you read in your target language, you’re only getting half of the experience. You’re learning how to associate the written words with the right translations in your head, but you’re not learning how to pronounce them.
Try saying things in your target language out loud. For example, if you’re reading an article in the language, read it out loud. If you’re listening to a song, you can sing along. You can even speak along with practice programs online, or read aloud from practice text books. Speaking with a native speaker is usually the best way of practicing, but these techniques work well too.
For more learning materials in the language you’re learning, check out the free downloads from Living Language, which is a wonderful resource for all sorts of materials in a variety of languages. And, they’re always adding more materials, so you can continue to learn and develop your language skills.
2. Keep a Notebook On Hand
Having a phone, tablet or laptop with you is great, but they’re not actually ideal for language learning. If you want to get the most from it, you should keep a notebook and pen with you at all times. Using a notebook in learning makes you connect more closely with the material.
There is a plenty of times when you could use a notebook when you’re learning a new language. It’s a great place to note down any words that you couldn’t summon up straight away, in order to look them up later. You can also write short journal entries in it to strengthen your writing skills. If you’d like, you can type up your writing later, ready for editing by a native speaker.
3. Use Language Apps and Games
Mobile apps are an amazing way to get all sorts of things done. You can do your banking, pay your bills, and organize your diary with them, so why not practice your language skills?
There are a plethora of language apps available online such as Duolingo or HelloTalk, so have a look around and try some out. A lot of them work by running very short tests, or games to help you practice your writing and speaking skills. There’s even some that let you compete against your friends if many of you are learning at once.
The best part of this is that you can do it anywhere. If you’re on a bus, waiting at the doctor’s office, or checking your phone during your break at work, you can check in on the apps. They’re a good replacement for time wasting apps, too.
4. Find Some Helpful Writing Tips
All languages have certain rules to help everyone understand what is being said. One of the hardest parts of learning a new language is learning these rules, especially in your writing. It can slow you down and can be rather tough.
One way of helping yourself is to find some helpful writing tips that you can keep on hand when you’re writing. Find the tips that help you most and compile them somewhere you can check quickly. Then, when you’re writing in your target language, you can consult them with confidence.
When you need a little bit of extra assistance from a real person, EssayRoo has assignment writers who can help with complete content creation, if you’re stuck for time, or proofreading services, if you want a professional set of eyes to look over your work.
5. Get Your Notifications in Your Target Language
While you’re thinking about your phone, why not change your notifications to send you push notifications in your target language?
Don’t panic, you don’t have to set your whole phone to that language. That would be overwhelming and therefore not helpful. Instead, set certain apps to your target language. For example, you could get notifications from your news app in that language, or from your email app. Choose something that you’ll need to check regularly, but won’t stop you getting things done if you’re struggling with the vocabulary.
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6. Use Media in Your Target Language
You can use formal learning tools such as a grammar guide and a phrase book to pick up your target language, and they are certainly two tools you should have in your arsenal. However, you’re not going to hear that language spoken in context through formal tools.
The best way to hear to hear unfiltered, genuine language is to seek it out. Look or media in your target language and spend time with it. This can mean listening to podcasts, watching film and TV, or reading books in that language. The more you spend time with it, the more you’ll take in as you do so.
7. Use Those Spare Moments to Study
There’s always a few spare moments in the day when you could be studying. Instead of browsing Facebook aimlessly or watching ten more minutes of TV, use those moments to brush up on your skills. Ten minutes doesn’t sound like much, but they do add up very quickly. If you want to test out your typing skills in your newly acquired language, check out the Easy Word Count, where you can time your typed words per minute easily.
8. Do a Little At a Time
You’re a busy person, so you can’t be spending hours every day studying your target language. You’ve got other things to do, so it can feel hopeless at times. However, that’s not the case. If you use the above tip, you’ll be doing a little studying at a time. This is just as, if not more effective, than having marathon studying sessions.
The key is to do it regularly. If you keep up with it, the skills will become easier to acquire. Before long, you’ll find that you can understand and speak more of your target language than you’d think.
9. Enter a Writing Contest
Are you of a competitive nature? Then this could be a tip you could try. There are always plenty of writing contests available online to enter. Do a search for contests that are happening in your target language. Once you find one you like the look of, try entering it.
This has two great outcomes for you. Firstly, you’ll get some great practice in writing in your target language, which is invaluable. Also, you’ll be in with a chance of winning a prize! They’re usually cash or scholarships, so if you’re a student they’re always worth entering.
And, if you need a little assistance with properly formatting your resources and citations used in your written work, Cite It In can help you put together your references perfectly. For a little extra grammar and overall writing help, Australian Help has a library of helpful resources, including information on avoiding different types of plagiarism.
10. Practice With a Native Speaker
If you’re looking to get a scholarship to study your target language, the best way to get your skills sharpened is to try them on a native speaker. No app, program or book will be able to give you the feedback that native speaker can give you.
The best way to work with them is to set a regular session, perhaps once a week. You could ask them to edit any written work you’ve done, or chat with them and ask them to critique your skills in real time. It’s the best and most authentic way to learn.
A good tip for finding a partner is to find someone who’s looking to learn your native language. That way, you can both help each other. PhD Writers from UK Writings can be an incredible resource for reviewing your written work to check for accuracy of information, as well as grammatical and spelling errors. Take advantage of their knowledge and expertise to perfect your written compositions.
Native speakers for a number of languages are also available through Busuu, which offers full language courses as well as assistance from native speakers to help you learn in as little as 10 minutes a day.
It’s much easier than you’d think to learn a new language. You also don’t need hours in the day to learn it. Take up these small habits, and you’ll have it mastered in no time.
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