Bonjour! We all know language learning is fun, but it’s still studying, and sometimes you just get really tired of studying. And if you’re like me and you’re intermediate in a language, it gets to the point where you want to start using the language instead of just endlessly reading textbooks and doing the same practice questions over and over. So I’ve compiled a list of things you could do where you’re learning a language without it feeling like you’re studying!
- ̗̀ Reading ̖́-
- Books. Pick up a book in your target language and just read it, with no need to analyze it or answer end-of-chapter questions. Don’t worry about every single foreign word you come across, try to get the general idea of it from the context. But if a word shows up a lot and you still don’t get it, you can look it up! Children’s books are great, too.
- Comics. Basically just dialogue with pictures to help you understand what the characters are talking about. Need I say more.
- Blogs. Follow a blog in your target language which posts about something you’re interested in. Blogs usually have less formal language than novels, are of course a lot shorter, and have lots of pictures.
- Wikipedia. Whenever you’re curious about something and want to casually look it up, switch to the page in your target language. If you want to, you can always read the article in your native language first to understand the topic.
- ̗̀ Listening ̖́-
- Films and tv. Some have more complex dialogue than others, some have simpler, so there are films and tv shows for almost every level of language learning. If you can’t find a movie originally in your target language, find a dubbed version, it’s better than nothing!
- Cartoons. Or live-action movies/shows aimed at children. These usually have dialogue that’s easier to understand than those aimed at older viewers. Also they’re fun!
- Youtube. If you can find vloggers who upload videos in your target language, then go ahead and watch them. Kind of the same thing as with blogs, where the language is more “everyday”!
- Music. Listen to songs in your target language. It’s okay if you don’t understand everything or even anything, the most important thing is to get used to how the language sounds!
- ̗̀ Writing ̖́-
- Keeping a diary. This is by far my favourite thing to do when it comes to language learning. The point of this isn’t to write a flawless essay with no mistakes, no one has to read your private diary anyway. The point is to get used to producing a text and expressing yourself in your target language. Start with writing about your day in the present tense. Go on to write about something that happened yesterday. Write about your feelings and what you think will happen in the future. If you want to express something but don’t know the word, look it up. Woo, new vocab word!
- Short stories. Similar as above, but experiment with verb tenses and sentence structure. Use the fanciest words you know to make that description extra descriptive. Learn to use idioms and similes and metaphors. Your story can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. And this time, get someone to correct it!
- Letters and texts. Get a pen pal who speaks your target language, if you can! Or even just an internet friend you can text with. You can even practice speaking with them via Skype or maybe even in person if that’s possible. What better thing to do with a language than do what it’s meant for: communication!
- Anything else. When writing down your daily to-dos in your planner, write them in your target language. Jot down that reminder on a post-it note but do it in your target language. Anything.
That’s all I have for now, I hope this was helpful and that it has given you some extra motivation to learn that language. Good luck!