Sometimes we realize that studying for a certain amount of time every day is ideal in language learning. However let’s be honest, some days all you want to do is relax and not worry about classwork, homework, or any studying.
Here are some tips to follow for when you don’t feel like studying.
1. Label things in your room.
Put notes on your chair, door, and other places around your room that say the word in your target language. This will greatly help with your vocabulary without having to do boring standards. For example if you’re studying Mandarin Chinese, stick a note on your desk that says 椅子 (yǐzi, desk). Next time you open your door, look at the note. Any time you turn on your computer, or your speakers, you’ll have the vocabulary to visible to help you learn
2. Listen to media.
Most of us don’t like to be in total silence. I recommend hearing a song in your target language or even a TV show in your target language as background noise. This helps you with your listening skills because you can pick up new words and listen to native speakers’ pronunciation.
3. Good ole flash cards.
Make a flashcard for any new vocabulary you might be learning. Using flashcards is especially helpful if you are learning a new writing system, like with Chinese or Japanese. Make as many as you can and test yourself with them. You can even make it into a game! Have a friend time you so you can memorize as many as you can as fast as you can.
4. Look up a word in the target language.
Imagine you’re out with your friends and you come across a word in your target language that you don’t know. Instead of going to a translator, look up the word in the target language’s dictionary. For example, if you come across the Spanish word ‘atardecer’ (to get dark/sunset) and don’t know what it means, look it up in a Spanish dictionary and read the Spanish definition. This will help you better grasp the meaning in Spanish than if you were to translate the word into English.
5. Look up children’s books.
The internet has hundreds and hundreds of children’s books and stories that you could read in the language you are learning. If you are just beginning, starting off with children’s books can be very helpful as it doesn’t have complex vocabulary or grammar. You might find it helpful to get an audio-book so that you can also practice your listening and comprehension skills.
6. Watch YouTube videos.
YouTube is a great place to find music, movies, and TV shows in your target language. However those aren’t the only YouTube videos that you can find to help practice your language. If you love make-up and are learning German, why not watch a German person giving a make-up tutorial? Additionally, if you love cooking and are learning Italian, put on some Italian cooking how-tos. fun to watch, so why not watch it in Korean? It’s a great idea to take notes and write any new word or phrase you learn!
7. App reminders.
There are now hundreds of language-learning applications you can download to help you study. Some of these apps actually have “Words of the Day” or “Phrase of the Day.” Look through the many apps that are available so that you can get reminders to study and new words every day without having to do anything.
8. Follow social media.
Let’s say you are trying to learn French. It would be a great idea to switch your social media languages to French so you can always be forced to practice. So instead of “liking” something on Facebook you can click ” J’aime.” Also it is a great idea to follow French twitter pages and French Facebook pages. You’ll pick up new words without having to open a book and doing homework. Be wary of the blogs run by non-native speakers!
9. Don’t beat yourself up.
Everyone goes through waves of feeling motivated to study and not wanting to study at all. Know that language learning is not an easy process that you can achieve over night. This process will take time and you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you haven’t studied as much as you think you should or someone is expecting you to. It’s never too late to catch up! Create a reasonable schedule that you can follow. There is no right and wrong way to learn. Remember, learning one word a day means that you’d’ve learned 365 words in a year. Image how many words in a year you’ll learn if you learn more than one a day? You can do it!
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