Learning a foreign language might be on your to-do list for years. But there is often a discrepancy between willing to learn and actually taking the leap. The perspective of going back to school to take time-consuming – if not tedious – lessons can be daunting. Thankfully, learning a language doesn’t boil down to formulaic textbooks and exams. There are many more ways to develop your skills day by day by shaking up your routine ever so slightly. With that in mind, let’s delve into a handful of practical tips to enhance your language skills.
Talk to yourself
We start with a tip that might seem counter-intuitive, if not plain weird. But this advice springs from the fact that many language learners struggle with chatting in a foreign tongue, as speaking fluently takes practice. Talking with foreigners in a language you’re not fully grasping also takes a lot of confidence, which is why many people never engage in conversations for fear of being made fun of for their poor accent or grammatical errors. Before you find a language buddy, thus, you may build up your confidence by speaking to yourself.
Even if it makes you feel silly, take a minute to narrate your day out loud. You may also record yourself reading texts to pinpoint exactly where your pronunciation sounds off. Of course, you can simultaneously train your speaking with language learning programs like Duolingo and Babbel. Once you feel self-assured enough to take that step, you may switch to language exchange apps to connect with foreigners without feeling like a complete fish out of water.
Read as much as you can
Reading written content gives you ample time to research every word. Whenever you come across new vocabulary, try and take the time to jot them down in a notebook or on your phone. Handy applications such as AnkiApp and Cram allow you to create flashcards to get an actual sense of your progression. Starting with short stories, you can gradually switch to more challenging texts. However, do not rush into content so complex it might kill your motivation.
If classic literature is your thing, but you barely get a hang of the language, do not go and buy books you most likely won’t read more than a few pages. Similarly, catching up with the news in a foreign language can sound appealing, until you realize you have no use for all these political and legal terms in your everyday command of a language. Instead of reaching for the stars prematurely, acknowledge your existing skill level, even if it means taking baby steps for a while. Plus, you might focus on a theme you particularly enjoy to keep your drive intact, reading blogs on your favorite TV show or checking out easy-to-understand recipes.
Make language learning fun
The internet has turned upside down the notion that learning languages is the stuff of antiquated classroom practices. Streaming services make it easier than ever to consume content in various languages. Watching films and shows being a somewhat passive activity, you won’t become proficient by simply sitting in front of your TV. But there are useful tools you can leverage, such as the LLN Chrome extension that turns Netflix into a language lab. If you’re looking to get more proactive, playing video games can be equally efficient to improve your skillset. Text-based titles like point-and-click adventure games are ideal for expanding your vocabulary, while story-driven entries with engaging plots and characters stand out for their unparalleled level of immersion.
Multiplayer platforms also put you in touch with fellow gamers you can interact with in the desired tongue. So, why don’t you join a live poker table? If you’ve never ventured into casino gaming, platforms like CasinoBonusCA help you make an informed decision. Experts have rated all the best websites based on criteria like safety, customer service, and playability. From hefty welcome packages to loyalty schemes, up-to-date casino offers can also tilt the balance in favor of one online casino. Advanced tools even allow you to filter through bonus and game types – including live options alongside foreign players with whom to practice your social and language skills.