Are you too busy to learn a language? Do you always find it hard to make time to study?
In this video, I lift the lid on a typical day and let you look over my shoulder as I study languages in all kinds of different places over the course of 24 hours. I want to show you my language learning hacks.
There are eight “techniques” in the video. The point here is not to show you any groundbreaking new language learning techniques – in fact, you'll notice that all of these are pretty simple!
The point is to demonstrate just what's possible if you use a variety of studying hacks, techniques and mediums.
Studying regularly throughout the day is the easiest language hacking solution for this. Use the 5, 10 or 15-minute blocks that inevitably crop up during the course of a day to get a short “language fix”!
15 minutes might not sound like a lot, but they really start to add up over the course of a week, month and year.
Also, many language learners find that studying regularly is more effective than studying in a single block because your brain gets used to jumping back into gear at short notice!
By the way, if you want to be a successful language learner, using the right method is key.
You're never too tired to listen! It's the easiest way to use your dead minutes while travelling or waiting in a queue. Listening to music can help you learn more about the culture where they speak the language you are learning.
In music, there is often colloquialisms and dialects. Use your music listening to pick up phrases you'd never see in a textbook.
Flashcards are an easy and simple way to check what you've learnt while you're on the go. Using an app can make it an accessible way to go over your vocabulary while you're waiting for a meeting to start or sitting in a cafe.
Once you've set up your flashcards, you can use the app to check them wherever you are. It's a great memory testing exercise that you'll always be able to find 5 minutes to complete.
3. Listening To Dialogues
Listening to dialogues is ideal for when you're on the go. You can immerse yourself in the language and pick up phrases and structures used in context. There's no point studying a bunch of words if you don't know how to use them.
Listening to your chosen language in context helps you absorb it better, as well as understand how the pronunciation works.
This may seem like a strange one, but self-talk is a great way to check in with yourself about what you've learned. There is no point spending hours listening to your language if you don't practice what you've learnt.
The easiest thing about this hack is that you only need yourself! It may not be a substitute for real conversation, but it helps cement your learnings in your mind.
5. Instant Messaging
We all love sending messages, so why not do it in your target language? You can use instant messaging apps such as:
Not only will you get to practice a live conversation, but a tutor will also be able to correct your pronunciation.
7. Foreign Language TV!
Watching movies or TV in your target language isn't the most effective way to learn a language. However, it's a useful bit of exposure at the end of a long day when you're too tired to do anything else!