Holiday times are here! Or vacations if you´re speaking Americano!
It´s an escape from school routines and that´s why it´s the perfect time to get a little creative in your language learning! Here are six tips!
- Get in touch with native speakers! Maybe you have some native speaker friends from past trips or you have family or friends abroad (or friends of friends! Or friends or family! you get the idea!). Now you have more time to keep in touch with them. Maybe these native speakers are in the UK, the US, Canada, Europe, Asia or other places. Write to them in English (or French or whatever language it is) and maybe if they want to practice another language, they can write back in YOUR native tongue! Or vice-versa. Whatever works so you can practice!
- Get some magazines and videos! Maybe you love football or fashion or baking cakes, whatever! There are foreign magazines and videos on every topic. Look up more music in your target language and figure out the lyrics! Choose what interests you and look for it in the shops (stores for Americanos!) and online. Just do the online searches using the language you are looking for!
- Download some Netflix series and films in your chosen language! If you wanted to watch that Hollywood movie anyway or the series was actually filmed in the US anyway, you are simply watching it in its original language. This is usually the best thing to do anyway, since it´s richer and more authentic than watching a translation. To help you even more, you can listen in the original language AND add subtitles in the same language so you can follow if you come up against any confusion listening (like when they say something so funny it sounds like gobbledegook!)
- Take a trip! If possible, go to where the language is spoken and get fully immersed. You can set yourself some goals on how many people a day you speak to … then achieve (or smash!) those goals! And you might make some new friends, then you can keep in touch to practice throughout the year, and you will experience new adventures by being out of your home town for a while!
- Read! This time you are not in school, so read whatever you like! Go with the flow of what sounds like a good story to you… There are some great novels in local bookshops in many languages. Again, try to find material in the original language (and not translations). Even the children´s novels can be fun. Obviously they are simple and easy to read but it can feel nice to read them quickly and sometimes the silly stories give you a good laugh! You can also read cereal packets or recipes, whatever you can find and figure out what on earth they are saying! You will learn lots of new vocabulary by seeing the words in context. You can also read the rest of the Language Café blog in English or Spanish!
- Take some classes with a new teacher or in a different place! A change of scene is as good as a rest! Especially if it´s one-to-one, this can help you iron out difficulties with personalized attention. In Language Café Mexico there are great classes for you to take from the comfort of your own house, tea or coffee in hand! Find out more here and email Angela for any information you need. You can also take to her some of the magazines, videos, novels and other material you are using if you get stuck! http://languagecafemexico.com/en/classes/
Happy holidays! (or Happy Vacations to the gringo English students!)