Learning a new language is an amazing experience, but it can also be extremely difficult. In order to become fluent in a language, or to simply catch on to the basics faster, chances are you’ll need more than what you get by simply going to a class once or twice a week. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to improve your language skills in the comfort of your own home.
1. Start An Online Course
Whether you’re just starting out, or really want to sound like a native speaker, you’ll likely find it easier if you get some extra help. Whether you plan to study Arabic from home, or you really want to improve your Mandarin Chinese, taking up an online course can be a great way to stay motivated and meet people with similar goals. Since language is a system for communication, having someone to talk to in a language you’re learning is always a good idea, and a course will not only provide you with a skilled conversation partner, but that person will also be an expert when it comes to teaching a language. That way, you can make sure your study sessions will have structure while still being entertaining, and you will have the opportunity to have any question answered right as it arises.
2. Set Goals And Challenges
If studying for hours on end isn’t really your thing, it’s a good idea to set yourself challenges that you can accomplish within a specific time period. By setting small goals for yourself like this each day, you not only give yourself the opportunity to test your skills, but you also slowly become more familiar with the things you can do when speaking this language. Besides that, when you commit to doing things regularly, but for a short amount of time each day, you’re not only creating a good routine for yourself but are also more likely to stick to it. Breaking down study sessions into small parts will make it easier for you to digest all the information and be able to put it into practice. Another benefit of setting challenges or small goals to reach daily is that it can be motivating when you look back and see a successful streak.
3. Watch TV
Whether you enjoy watching movies, TV shows or like to stay informed and watch the news – you can now indulge in one of your favorite pastimes while working on your language skills. Watching TV in a language you’re learning can not only help improve your grammar but your comprehension skills as well. Besides that, you’ll likely pick up a few new words and expressions. Your accent will likely benefit from this as well since this can be as close as you can get to the real thing without living there. Of course, if you’re just starting out, it would be a good idea to stick to movies and shows that use a more formal jargon in order to understand their context better. However, if your skills are already on a pretty high level, finding something to watch that uses more colloquialisms can help you really hone your comprehension skills.
4. Listen To Music
Besides being a great way to relax, listening to music is also an excellent tool for language learning. After all, songs are full of repetition – which can help you study vocabulary without even trying! Furthermore, by focusing on the lyrics of a song you’ll be working on your comprehension skills too. As a bonus, listening to songs in a language you’re learning is also a great way to learn new ‘street phrases’ which can be especially useful if you ever plan to travel to the country of the language you are learning. One thing to note though: Not all languages rhyme the same way, so don’t worry too much if you notice some oddities – it could be a good way to understand the natural rhythm of a language which can work wonders for your accent. Looking at how certain words rhyme can also help you better understand the pronunciation rules of a language, without having to go over it textbook-style.
5. Read And Write
Reading can be just as beneficial as watching TV and listening to music for your language skills. It’s a great way to practice reading comprehension and really get into the flow of how a language works. When you’re first starting out, this could be about anything: magazines, newspapers, children’s stories, etc. If you’re not really feeling confident in your skill level yet, sticking to short forms might be better suited for you, as it won’t be as hard to follow along. However, if you’re looking for something that will really get your mind working, looking for popular novels in your language of choice is always a good option. A good way to really make sure you’re absorbing what you’re reading is to take notes while you do it. Writing is a great way to improve your spelling skills while also getting used to reading in your target language, and it can help you progress into more complex grammar and sentence structures.
Dedicating some time every day to improve your language skills is the best way to quickly boost them. This can be as simple as learning new words, creating flashcards, or watching TV with subtitles on, or you can opt for starting an online language course if you want to gain a better understanding of it. Whichever way you decide to go, just remember – there are always ways to improve your language skills from home.