Learning a new language doesn’t always have to take place in a classroom sitting behind a desk. In fact, that’s not even the most conducive way to absorb a new language. There are many more effective – and fun – ways to explore something new. From listening to music to making flashcards, here are a few ways to supplement your language learning lessons.
If you’re looking to progress in your language learning, step it up a notch and try singing. There are several reasons why music can help you when learning a new language. Music can:
- Connect gaps in culture and break down barriers.
- Help you learn the culture of your destination country.
- Help you expand your vocabulary through song lyrics that are often full of local slang and phrases.
- Encourage you to meet new friends, acting as a way to break the ice.
- Be very portable: you can take it anywhere from work and school to the park and mall.
- Improve your mood.
Flash cards are simple, easy to use, cheap, versatile and mobile. Yes, they’re an old school way of learning, but there’s a reason we all grew up using them: they work! Ideally, when learning a new language you should use them in conjunction with other methods, such as online learning and communication with native speakers, but flash cards can be very helpful in learning new words, definitions and phrases.
Write each one out yourself rather than buy pre-made ones at the store. This way, you’re learning as you’re writing. Test yourself, ask a friend, or mix it up a little and play some games. From memory testers to drilling activities, flash cards can be a simple yet effective way of learning a language.
Foreign films with subtitles are a great way to learn the local language and discover the culture as well. For example, take in the history, culture and social dynamics of China by watching many of its big-screen cinematic performances. Learning Mandarin? Check out movies like “To Live,” “The Blue Kite,” “Together,” and “Beijing Taxi.” Just be sure to watch actively rather than passively. Pause and rewind if you didn’t quite get a particular scene. Watch scenes over and over as you mouth the lines in conjunction with the subtitles. Choose genres that you enjoy so it’s not a chore to get through them, whether you’re an action junkie or a drama fanatic.
Speak the Language – A Lot
The best and most effective way to learn a new language is to speak it conversationally every day. BRIC Language Systems offers a way for you to learn from teachers in their native countries online. By conversing daily with people who know the language, you’re more readily absorbing the local language and culture.