Everyday language learning: how to do it?

Don’t wait for opportunities, build them!

To really learn a language, you have to live it! Taking regular classes will help you progress, of course. But if you want to learn even better and in a sustainable way, you will have to give yourself even more opportunities. You may say that you would like to, but that you don’t have the chance to practice. I would say to you what Milton Berle would have said: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”.

So don’t wait any longer and learn every day by living the language. Here are 10 tips to help you do just that.

1. Electronic devices

Set all your electronic devices to the language you are learning: cell phones, TV, computers, household appliances with menus, …

Nowadays, most people are regularly on the phone or computer, so live your language through them.

2. Applications

Download all the applications you use in the language you are learning. Do you read newspapers online? Do you check the stock market? Then do it, but in the language you are learning!

3. Read

Read everything you can in the language you are learning. It is often said that you need to read books to learn faster; but let’s be honest: sometimes we don’t even have time to read a book in our native language! If this is also the case for you, then read differently: recipes, cooking instructions, instructions on how to assemble a piece of furniture, information brochures, magazines in the waiting room, posters, etc.

Everything you read helps to improve the language you are learning.

Special “addicts” board games: You like to play board games? Then buy them in the language you are learning. You can organize a “Monopoly” evening and play with the language cards. Not only will it be fun, but you’ll also get to know the language even better without realizing it.

4. Watch & Listen

Watching your favorite television program in the language you are learning or simply reading the subtitles will result in impressive language improvement: increased vocabulary, improved pronunciation, improved listening skills and integration of grammar and conjugation rules!

5. Practice everywhere!

Do you buy your coffee and croissant in the morning? Have some quick errands to run? Need to make an appointment with your hairdresser? Then do as much as possible in the language you are learning.

Remember that the people in front of you will tend to detect your native language and want to make it easier for you. You can simply point out that you are practicing the language you are currently studying and that you enjoy it.

6. Make a pact with a friend(s).

Do any of your friends speak the language you are studying? Then make a pact: speak exclusively in that language. It might seem confusing at first, but with a certain amount of discipline, it will become a ritual and you won’t even notice it.

7. Write.

Take every opportunity to write in the language you are studying: shopping lists, reminders, notes, to-do lists, …

If you add up these little things you will notice that together they make a big difference.

8. Learn vocabulary

Vocabulary is one of the most important basics when learning a language. In order for the brain to memorize words in the long term, you need to be exposed to them regularly. Always take your flashcards or your little list of words with you. We are all confronted with waiting in our daily lives: waiting for the bus, in a line or in a waiting room. Take this opportunity to get your vocabulary out.

9. New words every day.

As mentioned above, learning new vocabulary is crucial. Challenge yourself to find, for example, three new words a day. A small notebook will suffice: you can write them down. Ideally, write down any new words you encounter or words you miss when communicating.

10. Activities

Would you like to start playing sports in a club? Take a yoga class? Participate in a painting workshop? Then try to find a place where activities are held in the language you are learning. This will allow you to be totally immersed in the language and you will progress in a surprising way.

 

Now it’s your turn to build your own “doors”: don’t forget to give yourself the means to succeed!

Do not hesitate to write to us to share your experiences, we are happy to hear your thoughts.

See you soon,

SWISS LINGUA