Written in collaboration with Mary Johnson
Sometimes, sitting in a traditional classroom environment is outdated and not appealing to learners. Nowadays, there are so many methods for learning and developing your knowledge for languages. So if you want to learn languages, don’t feel limited in the ways that you can do so! It is even more effective to combine any number of learning methods that suit your learning style best to help retain and advance your language skills.
Here are a few fun and effective ways to learn languages:
Apps on phones
These days, there are a number of apps that you can use to learn a language on the go. A good language-learning app is Babbel, which gives you structured and easily digestible lessons for quick, interactive and effective learning. With Babbel, you can learn several of the most in-demand languages online, such as German for example, as well as many others. A major benefit of using a language app on your smart device is that you can complete lessons anywhere, anytime.
Use region-specific social media
Social media differs from region per region. Especially if you are already a social media user, why not use region-specific social media? You can even simply find social media users that are native speakers of the language you are learning and follow their accounts. If you follow someone who shares content about a topic you are interested in, such as sports, cars, fashion, travel, etc. you’ll be more interested in the content and see words more consistently, which makes it easier to learn a language!
Use the app, MeetUp
MeetUp is an app that organizes online groups that host in-person events. Many cities have current MeetUp groups dedicated to locals who are learning a specific language. So check out your area to join, or you can start your own! While it’s convenient to use online resources to learn a language, it’s crucial that you get out there and really use your new language skills. Plus, it’s always fun to meet other people who are learning the same language, and you can even set up conversation groups on the side with other members who may want to practice their conversational skills or learn together.
Set your phone to your desired language
For many people, your phone is something that you use every day. Chances are, you know the setup of your phone, where your apps are at, and how to manoeuvre around the apps that you use the most consistently. So if you set your phone to your desired language, you can train your brain to get used to seeing the new language and remembering these daily prompts in the language you are learning.
Play computer games with international gamers in the language of your choice
If you love gaming, you’ll love this one! Play computer games with international gamers in the language of your choice so that you can again get used to the ‘everyday type’ prompts and phrases, and also practice your conversational skills. If you play with international gamers, this gives you a better chance to play with someone who is native in the language you are learning, which can be tremendously helpful in learning expressions, phrases, accents, and more. The phrases that you would use while gaming anyways can quickly become second nature to say in the language you are learning!
Listen to music and do Karaoke
Music is fun in any language and it is a natural and effective way to learn languages. You can simply type in ‘[Language] music’ on a music platform or simply type it into YouTube. When you find a song you really enjoy, pull up the lyrics and dive in! It can be a lesson to learn the meaning and new vocabulary, and singing the song is a fun way to both learn a song you like and also help advance your language skills. There are many ways to find top playlists in whichever country or language you are desiring to learn, like Spotify for example.
Plus, remember those songs that you learned as a child to help you remember the names of the states, how to spell a certain word or a holiday song? Exactly! Making a ‘learning lesson’ out of a song is an effective way to actually remember content.
Learning languages by using methods such as the ones listed above can be fun. Whether you are an eager to learn kid or adult, there are always endless benefits to being bilingual. Everybody should try some of these methods to spread their linguistic horizons and expand their minds!