Whether you are traveling abroad this summer or you don’t want to lose the language you have been learning during school, keeping up with a foreign language can be tough. However, there are fun ways to either learn a new language or brush up on an old one that don't feel too studious at all. Follow these tips to start your language immersion.
Watching foreign films/television
Watching movies or television shows in the language you are learning is an excellent way to start immersing yourself in the language. Even if you have to put English subtitles on, simply hearing that language being spoken natively and frequently will help you pick up on words and phrases much faster, as you correlate them to the English counterparts you are reading on screen.
Netflix has a lot of foreign films and television shows that are hidden gems, if you are willing to do the digging to find them. For example, if you are learning Spanish, the show “Grand Hotel” on Netflix is an enticing show spoken entirely in Spanish. After watching numerous episodes of a foreign show, you are sure to understand the language a bit better.
Listening to foreign music
To continue with the immersion technique, listening to foreign music can be another great way to start understanding another language’s native phrases. Translating the lyrics of some of your favorite foreign songs can be a fun way to study while enjoying good music. Apps such as Pandora or Spotify are great for finding a foreign playlist that suits your fancy.
For a good Spanish playlist, listen to the “Café con Leche” playlist on Spotify. This playlist is full of charming coffeehouse Spanish music that is widely appealing. If you are planning on traveling abroad, brushing up on that country’s native music is a great way to understand the culture better and possibly even recognize a few songs while you are out of the U.S.
Duolingo is an app and website that offers free, interactive lessons in a wide variety of languages. Whether you access it on your phone or your computer, this program lets you read, write, listen to and speak a foreign language with a targeted track of lessons.
You are able to set goals for yourself of how much you wish to practice each day, and the app will remind you if you don’t meet said goal.
This free app is one of the best ways to learn a language on your own time, at your own pace. Although Duolingo requires a good bit of focus and determination to stay with your studies, it feels much more like an interactive game than any kind of boring schoolwork.
After practicing your foreign language all summer, you will be ready to step outside your comfort zone and into the wide, wonderful world.