Transform language learning in a habit and you will learn it just on the go!
There are so many ways to include language learning in your daily life and even if you think you do not have time for it, think carefully:
How many spare moments do you have?
- On a commute?
- A long lunch break?
- Wasting time on social media or elsewhere on your mobile?
- Long toilet sessions?
- Any other waiting times…. for the bus, the meal to cook, etc.?
Find and make time
If you want to make language learning an ever-staying habit, plan your time wisely. There are so many moments during the day, even only gaps of 5-10 minutes, you can use to practise your target language.
Use the social media and other apps
Depending on your level you can use apps completely in your target language (e.g. news apps for advanced learners) or you sign up for some free language trainers like Duolingo. They might not be the best resource if you want to reach a high level, but they definitely help you learn and repeat vocabulary and basic grammar. If you like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube, subscribe to some channels in your target language. This way you get familiar with cultural aspects of that language, too!
Look for content you are interested in and consume it in your 5-10min “lost-time-gaps”.
Do Netflix, HBO and co.
In times of streaming it’s easier than ever to change the audio language of a film or series. If you have learnt already the language basics, check out a movie or series you already know and watch it in the target language! This way you do not have to concentrate on understanding the plot but you can listen to the sound of the language. If you wish, enable monolingual subtitles (not in your own language!) in the beginning until you get more and more comfortable. However, this is not necessary. The more you listen to the language (without reading it) the more you will be able to make sense of the sounds and distinguish words and sentences. Just as children learn their first language by continuous exposure, create your personal immersion scenario at home, no matter where you live.
House of vocabulary
Learn the words of the things around you like nouns, verbs and prepositions by writing them on post-it-notes and sticking them to the respective objects. You can also write some tricky words on your mirror-note: While brushing your teeth you can learn all those words or sentences. Renew them frequently and stick them somewhere else where you spend “idle” time (next to the toilet, kitchen cupboard, entry hall [when waiting for your spouse or kids]…).
Telling the time
Sometimes the basics can become neck-breaking when you need them lateron. A good example is telling the time. You don’t really need it until your off in daily life using the target language and then: Baff! How did you say that? Hey, wait…
Prepare for this by telling the time in your target language. Every time you check your watch or clock, say out loud what time it is. If you have any doubts, review the rules and continue. You do this once in a while and you’ll never ever forget it!
All the languages count
Just as with telling the time, we often struggle with numbers in the target language. Count things in different language, e.g. the stairs or ingredients. As a bonus: Make simple calculations and try to read the prices in the supermarket or at the car dealer’s out loud. Any issues? Then you know that you have to repeat the numbers!