When I started Spanish in my first year at York it was pretty daunting. I found quickly that I would forget things that we had learnt that day in the class, or that I just couldn’t switch into the Spanish mode in my head. After a while I realised what I needed were good ways to keep up Spanish when I wasn’t in lessons. So that’s what I’m going to share with you today; five simple ways to keep up your language(s) outside of the classroom.
1: Music- Listening to songs in the new language can help you no end with a new language, especially if the lyrics are really catchy and get stuck in your head! Even when you’re out and about there’s no reason not to listen to your new-found international music. Make a playlist for when you’re on the train, in town, at the supermarket, wherever!
2: Film, TV & YouTube – There are so many fantastic international films and TV programmes at your fingertips, Netflix (among others) has a huge international film section in pretty much whichever language you could wish for. If international films aren’t quite your thing lots of programmes have dubbed versions in other languages too! YouTube as well has thousands of videos in pretty much any language you could want.
3: Meeting Other People – It may sound obvious, but the best way to improve your new language is to speak it! At York there are so many international societies: French, Spanish, Latin American, Italian and German just to name a few! If you go to societies and speak to native speakers or other speakers of your new language you’ll feel so much more confident extremely quickly. Even just saying a few words in your new language in front of other people can boost your new language.
4: Talk to yourself – Definitely the strangest one on the list, but talking to yourself can help you so much with fluency and confidence. Even when walking around your house just translating objects in the room as you go makes it so much easier for words to come to you in conversation. Your friends may give you some strange looks if they see you muttering to yourself in a different language, but at least you’re still practising!
5: Read in the language – Now I’m not suggesting you go and read a novel straight away, but even just changing your phone to your new language makes the basic words ingrain themselves into your mind almost instantly. Some apps like Buzzfeed have the option of changing your language within the app, while others have different apps for different areas (like BBC News has Spanish-language BBC Mundo).
Hopefully these five simple tips should help you!