So many people say, especially at the beginning of a new year that they would love to learn a new language but they just don’t have enough time. Most people are busy enough just trying to fit in their work, home life, socialising as well as all the other daily chores like shopping, washing and house work. They think they couldn’t possibly add anything else into their busy schedule.
However if you break down how long you spend doing different tasks you will start to see how you could actually fit in a little language study each day. With a little planning and creativity you can easily fit in language learning into your busy day.
In today’s blog post we will look at 7 ways to help you fit in language learning every day.
It is easy to get into habits that aren’t providing you with many benefits. For example, when you first get up you may be used to checking social media or watching television when you could easily use that time to do something more productive – such as ten minutes of your language app, reading online news titles in the target language instead of English for example.
One thing that successful language learners often do is combine language study with other jobs they have to do during the day. This could be listening to a podcast whilst walking your dog, listening to Spanish radio or news programme whilst ironing or reviewing new vocabulary whilst on the train or bus. Studying the language does not need to be intensive learning with books, paper and pen – it could be a more enjoyable activity such as listening to a song sung by a native or watching a foreign language film.
The first thing you hear in the morning is probably your alarm clock going off. Why not set the sound to use some key phrases you want to learn in the language you are learning? Smartphones can easily use apps to customise your alarm ringtone.
My Voice alarm is an iphone app that allows you to wake up to your own recording. You could record key words, phrases or grammatical structures that you want to memorise.
Wake Up Babe is another app you can use to wake up to your voice memos:
Flashcards are a great way to incorporate language learning into your every day life whenever you have a spare 5 minutes. As well as making your own set with paper or card and pens you can also use flashcard apps on your phone such as Ankiapp. On a similar idea, you could place post it notes around the house where you often find yourself each day – such as on the fridge, next to the mirror, around your computer screen and so on.
Whenever you need to write something during the day; your shopping list, your to-do list, your diary notes – why not write them in the language you are studying?
Or you could keep a diary of your thoughts and feelings and things you have done in the language. This will get you to repeat similar verbs and look up new words so that you are also building your vocabulary.
As most people probably check their phone, social media and email several times a day, a good way to bring in language learning is to change the settings on your computer, phone and social media accounts to the foreign language you are learning. By repeatedly seeing the same words several times a day you will absorb them naturally.
As well as following your usual social media accounts on facebook, Instagram and Twitter, try to find ones that post regularly in the language you are studying. This could be famous people; celebrities, actors and sports stars as well as ones by language schools and tutors who are teaching the language via their profiles. You can also read other people’s comments on their posts which means you will get to see how the language is used in everyday life rather than just the formal version you get in language learner textbooks.
As you can see, with a little preparation and by tweaking your daily routine it is easy to bring in language study into your daily life without having to make drastic changes to how you live.