Can’t Move Abroad? Try Out Some Limited Immersion Options.
It’s all very well being told that the best way to truly get to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it by moving abroad. But for those of us whose lives are already filled with work, family, and other responsibilities, that just isn’t possible. So how about getting a flavour of that language, and culture, right at home? Here are some ways you can immerse yourself in the language of your choosing, more often than not by not even leaving the couch!
Most cities have them, and if yours doesn’t then why not start your own? By having a regular meeting once or twice a week where the goal is to solely speak in your target language in a social situation, not only do you get to speak that language regularly, but you also get to meet like-minded people. The friendships you make at these language exchanges don’t have to end in that bar or cafe at the end of the night either. What other language adventures can you share together?
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We all have so many gadgets at our disposal. Whether it’s your phone, tablet, or iplayer that you can’t live without, in your very hands is the opportunity to expose yourself to a little language. Changing all your devices to your target language so you have to navigate that device in another tongue is a great way to switch your thinking. Be sure you know the words for all the things you normally do on your devices, and make certain you know how to get back to your normal English settings should you get stuck. This is a great step to get you thinking in another language, which is the most important progress marker for any language learning!
If you already love podcasts why not multitask a little? You already know the kinds of podcasts you enjoy listening to, so try seeking some out in your target tongue. The great thing about podcasts for this purpose is that they are so flexible. You can listen for background immersion if you’re short on time. You can pause whenever you need to if there is a word you don’t recognise. And perhaps more beneficial than anything, you can find out more about a subject you’re interested in already, in the language you are learning. Why wouldn’t you want that for yourself?
Most of us have some sort of streaming provider like Netflix in our lives. These services have opened up our world to foreign language TV and film that we would otherwise not even know existed. With great subtitle services, you can change your viewing experiences into a language learning opportunity, while not taking anything away from the film or series you are watching. We can’t promise you won’t get hooked on a show from another country, but we can guarantee you’ll find something you love watching. Why not give it a try?
All the language practice you could want is right there at your fingertips — or by the power of voice activation if you so prefer! Do you spend hours on Instagram and Twitter? Change it to your target language and find new people speaking that language to follow. Like reading blogs on cookery, photography, or craft? Find new bloggers who blog solely in the language you are trying to learn. Anything you currently do online you can probably do in another language. The world is your oyster!
Whether it’s fantasy, sci-fi, or crime that you’re into for your reading material, there are authors the world over in your genre that you are yet to discover, if you’re willing to try reading in another language. If you want to start with more simple language you could pick up some children’s books to begin with. You could also reread some of your favourite novels that have been translated into or from another language. Whichever route you choose, reading in your target language is a great way to immerse yourself in it, quickly and effectively.
Music, Youtube videos, foreign film festivals, theme nights in your local restaurants; there are so many ways of immersing yourself in a language if you just know where to look. So what are you waiting for? What amazing new way are you going to get in a little language practice today?