Learning languages requires time. Alot of time.
For those who are working a full-time job, it can be even harder to find the time to get to practice or learn another language let alone manage life as well. Here are 10 ways on how to fit more language learning into a work day.
You could find a podcast, songs or youtube videos to have on in the language while you get ready in the mornings, make dinner or during transit. It’s best to find topics that actually interest you so that you’re more atuned to listen rather than just hearing (although there’s got to be something about subconscious listening right?).
2. Learn the new
If you’re learning new words or new grammar, you could have it up on a whiteboard or chalkboard. Maybe even stick some notes around the home in places that you will see. Make a conscious effort to look at it every time you pass it so that it sticks in your memory. You can change notes around the home or add and revise notes as you wish.
3. Swap your book for a book in the language you are learning
I find that I am exhausted by the end of the day to even read in English sometimes so have had to think about better ways to read. I find waking up alittle earlier to be able to read in the mornings has worked as well as reading at lunch.
4. Get a news update in your target language
If you read or listen to the news normally in your native language, why not swap it for the target language you are learning instead? It might not provide you with very much local news but will expose you to more global news instead.
5. Apps for very short breaks
The not so secret secret about language learning is exposure and repetition. A lot of language learning apps are great for this. You don’t need to spend hours on it and can fit them into your day for a minute or 2 here and there. Duolingo is the one I use which I like despite all the nay sayers. Click here to join.
6. Dedicated Language Classes
Despite working full-time, it is still possible to have classes after work. Structured classes are great at helping to progress in a language and also a great way to meet new people. This forces you to learn and revise your target language and is great if you need that little bit of motivation. Most of the time, there is likely to be others who have also just finished their work day.
7. Change Your Phone
Another way to thrust yourself into your target language is to change the language of your phone or apps. It’s make you learn new vocabulary that you might not have known before and is also one of those little incidental changes to get your brain switching languages and some immersion.
8. Language Exchanges
A more social way to practise your target language is to arrange to have an language exhange with a friend, colleague or online through one of the language learning websites that offer this. It can be as formal or informal as you like and might feel like you’re catching up with a friend. italki, Preply, Verbling and Conversation Exchange are some options that you can use.
9. Movies/TV Shows
Pick movies or series in your target language to add to your watch. Even if you don’t understand everything and are reading sub-titles, I think it’s also a cultural experience. If available, you could also watch your favourite movies or shows in the target language for a different perspective.
10. Dedicated Study Time
There is nothing like carving some time our during the day dedicated to studying. It might be 15 minutes or 1 hour, start small so that it can become a habit. Habits are easier to maintain. You can pick however you want to study and maybe even combine some of the above into your dedicated time. It’s important to keep it fun and light so that your motivation also stays for the long run. It’ll be a journey after all.
What others ways do you use to learn another language?