5 Creative Ways to Study a Foreign Language

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Because language learning is, well, a type of learning, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to treat it like a graduate thesis. The result is often that you either fall into a rut, get bored and give up, or, most importantly, stop having fun picking up that new tongue! While there’s nothing wrong with taking your language learning seriously, it’s also a good idea to balance it out with some more light-hearted activities. Afraid you’re falling into that dreaded language rut and losing out on some serious fun? Read on to discover 5 creative ways to help teach yourself a foreign language!

1. Download an entertaining app

Language apps can be tons of fun because they usually implement games and point-driven activities in order to keep students motivated. While there are many pros and cons to free language apps, and they’re definitely not super effective when used alone, they are great supplements to a language learning course. The best part is that these apps tend to be addictive, so it’ll be tough for you to stop practicing your language knowledge!

2. Date in another language

If you’re single and ready to mingle, why not give dating in another language a try? While it may seem intimidating, you’d be surprised at how many people out there are more than happy to go on a date with someone who wants to chat them up in their native tongue. Be sure to include the languages you speak in your online dating profile, and seek out others who speak the same tongues you do. Try dating another language learner so you can practice together. You’ll meet new people, and get your language practice in too!

3. Cook in another language

Food is a big part of every culture, and if you really want to get into your target language, you should start learning about the traditions that form a part of it! Invest in a recipe book in your target tongue, and commit to try cooking one new dish every week. Or pop on to YouTube and look up step-by-step cooking videos that are in the language you’re studying. You’ll learn how to make some delicious food and improve your language skills at the same time—I call that a definite win-win.

Photo via Flickr

4. Browse your favorite sites

If you tend to spend way too much time browsing Reddit or Buzzfeed, why not turn it into a language learning opportunity? Most major sites offer the option of switching to different countries, allowing you to be able to browse in French, Japanese, or whatever language you’re learning. On some sites (such as Reddit) you can find articles aimed specifically at language learners, making it just a little easier to browse in a foreign tongue. Don’t miss out on the comments section either! This is where you’ll get schooled on slang and proper internet speak in your target tongue.

Photo via Flickr

5. Have a daily phrase

Learning new vocabulary and grammar can be a pain, so why not lighten up a little with a daily phrase? Come up with a new phrase on your own, or try out a daily phrase calendar aimed at language learners. Focus on using your new phrase all day long, and try to find creative ways to insert it into conversations or to simply say it. Not only will you stock up on new vocabulary (and have fun doing it), but acquiring a phrase every day is a practical way to boost your conversational skills. Within a few weeks you’ll have a portfolio of valuable words and phrases you can use anytime!

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Once you start supplementing your language learning with fun activities, you’ll be surprised at how much easier picking up that target language becomes. But don’t wait around for these creative methods to motivate you, try them out and the motivation will catch up with you in no time at all. And whether you’re using YouTube videos to fill your language sweet tooth, or committing to saying your phrase of the day at least 10 times, make sure you stick with it and change it up every now and then to keep things fresh!

What are some of the creative ways you study your target language? Share a few of your tips and tricks with us!