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February 2014

Learn a new language without really studying

Learning a new language is an everyday affair. It takes constant practice to slowly build up the vocabulary and familiarity of a foreign language. The best way is it integrate language learning into your daily life, so that “studying” really becomes “living” and not really studying at all.

Here are five simple things you can do to learn a new language throughout the day:

1.) Savor the sticky notes

The most useful vocabulary to learn has to do with everyday life (food, household items, the parts of a kitchen, how to say “toilet”, etc.). A fun way to learn these words is to use sticky notes and apply them around the house. Find the target language translation for objects around your house and label them. Every time you walk past, you’ll be adding these words to your vocabulary. Try and use these words in a sentence if you can.

2.) Switch Facebook into your target language

Did you know that you can change the language of Facebook? Find the option under the “General Account Settings” menu. Click the sprocket in the top right corner. It will activate a drop-down menu. From there, click on “Settings”. Change the language of Facebook with the “Language” option. If you’ve already been using Facebook for some time, you likely have the majority of the site memorised already. Seeing the site in your target language can help you pick up some computing vocabulary fairly quickly.

3.) Find online friends to chat with

You may not have a large group of friends who are willing to converse patiently with you in your target language, but you can always find new friends to write with online. Unlike traditional pen pals, online chatting requires much less of your time. Having everyday conversations with people on a regular basis will help you approach fluency. Writing in a foreign language is also generally easier for most people than speaking, so you can start this practice even before reaching an intermediate level (just be sure you tell writing partners to correct you when you make mistakes).

(Read also: Find the perfect language partner and connect with them for free)

4.) Learn to sing

Listen to songs in your target language while you’re running errands like washing dishes or when you’re out for a jog. Lyrics and melody stick in the mind more than dialogue, so new words and phrases are more readily memorised. Even better, you might pick up some romantic phrases from a love song or two! Look up your favorite song lyrics and translate them with Google Translate, so you understand what the tunes are about.

5.) Stay informed with the news (for advanced learners)

If listening to the news each morning is a habit of yours, subscribe to a podcast or stream a news program in your target language to get your updates. Of course, you will have to be at an intermediate level at the very least before attempting to follow the news in a foreign language, as the topics are generally more complex than those of simple conversation. Make this practice a habit and it will soon integrate seamlessly into your daily routine.

(Read also: “How to use free podcasts to improve your listening comprehension fast”)

How do you study on a daily basis? What are your tips? Let us know on our Facebook Page and be sure to “like” TELC English to stay updated on more learning tips and tricks!