Anyone who has ever tried to learn a foreign language can attest to the fact that it can be a tedious process. But, it doesn't have to be. There are many ways to make studying fun and engaging and to help you stick with it and achieve your goals.
In the article below, we will explore seven fun ways to study and make language learning more enjoyable. Keep reading for some great ideas!
Why Learn a Language in a Fun Way?
When it comes to language learning, one of the most important factors is staying motivated. It's easy to get discouraged if the process seems tedious and boring. But, if you make learning a language fun, you'll be more likely to stick with it and achieve your goals.
One reason why learning a language in a fun way is beneficial is that it triggers your brain's pleasure system. This means that you'll enjoy the experience more and connect language learning to positive feedback.
Also, when you're having fun, you're more likely to keep the language in your mind, which makes learning easier and more natural. And if, apart from traditional textbooks, you enjoy fun activities such as watching TV in the language, you also learn all the fresh expressions and cultural references.
Finally, it can be really easy to transform your daily activities into learning steps and ensure that you study in a natural way instead of sitting in the classroom. With that in mind, let's take a look at some simple ways to make studying fun.
Playing games might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about learning a language, but they actually can be great tools. Games provide you with an immersive experience, enjoyable and, most importantly, local. You can play many kinds of games without leaving your house.
You can play a video game in your target language, invite friends over for board games, or simply play a studying game with a computer.
Depending on your interests and learning group, these games can vary. For example, if both you and your friends or siblings are learning French, you can organize an evening of French Scrabble. If you want to learn with your classmates at school, "Hangman" during a break would be a great idea.
And, if you don't have learning buddies, there are always video games: either learning-focused, like "Influent," or regular games switched to your target language.
Cooking is a great way to get familiar with a foreign language – you only need to find a recipe in it. Not only can you learn new words and phrases, but you also get to taste the food from that culture. What's better than learning combined with enjoying some tasty dishes?
There are many recipes online that are written in different languages. Choose a recipe in your target language, and try to follow it step by step. This is a great way to not only learn new vocabulary but also to get a sense of what the dish tastes like. Choose traditional dishes related to the language you’re learning – this will make the experience more authentic.
Another great way to use recipes in a foreign language is to find cooking blogs written in that language. This will give you more of a personal connection to the author, and you'll be able to learn more about their culture and food preferences.
Finally, you can also find cooking videos in different languages on YouTube. Watch them and follow along, pausing when you need time.
Reddit is not just an online platform – it's the perfect way to find your community. Whether you're learning a language, love a certain band, or are just tired after a long day, there are "subreddits" for everyone there. Subreddits are themed sub-blogs related to specific interests, places, activities, etc. And, trust us: there is a subreddit for a language you're learning.
Just google something like "Learning French reddit" or "France reddit," and you will find the right place.
Why is tso good? Because it's not just a discussion board. People share some great materials there, comment on them, give advice, and have fun. You can find language articles there, long posts about dealing with a specific mistake, and, of course, language memes.
Browsing Reddit may feel like regular web scrolling – but at the same time, you're connecting with a community of other language learners like you.
Watch YouTube Videos
YouTube is a fantastic resource for language learners – and, luckily, it's free. Watching videos in the language you're learning can be fun and helpful at the same time.
You can watch vlogs, skits, music videos, and even fragments of TV shows in your target language. This will not only help with vocabulary building but also pronunciation and listening skills. Plus, vlogs and skits often focus on everyday life topics – so this is a great way to learn about the culture of your target language as well.
Another great idea is to find channels specifically created for language learners. These may offer lessons or just casual talks about different aspects of the language – all while being entertaining to watch. For example, check out these best channels for learning French.
Change Your Interface
One simple way to make learning a language more fun is to switch your phone or computer settings. Change your settings, apps, and even search engine to the language you're studying. This will allow you to constantly be exposed to new vocabulary – even while casually browsing the internet or using your phone. Plus, it can also serve as a great reminder for daily practice.
This method can bring you a lot of discomfort at the beginning: forcing yourself to navigate your phone or computer in a foreign language can be challenging. Fortunately, this will become easier every time you use your device, and your vocabulary will quickly be filled with new words you've learned.
Watch Reality TV
Many language learners worry about only being exposed to "book-like" language in their studies – and the reality is, they’re right: the way people speak in everyday life often differs from what's written in textbooks.
A great way to combat this is by watching reality TV shows in your target language. These shows offer a more natural glimpse into how native speakers interact and communicate with each other. Plus, they're entertaining, fun to watch, and can help you relieve stress after a long day of work.
Try finding reality shows related to cooking, fashion, dating, or travel – these are all topics that can easily spark conversation with native speakers later on. And, don't be afraid to rewind or pause when you need some extra time to process what's being said on screen.
Write a Diary
Writing in a diary can be a fun and personal way to practice your language skills. You can also use it as an opportunity to reflect on your progress or challenges you may have faced during your language learning journey.
If you're feeling brave, try sharing your diary entries with native speaker friends for some added feedback and corrections. If not, reread each entry yourself, and look for mistakes or errors – but don't worry about being perfect. This is just for you, and any mistakes made are just part of the learning process.
What to Remember When Learning in a Fun Way
The best way to learn a language is to mix and match different methods – the main mistake most students make is focusing on just one of them. Whether you’re attending language classes or learning with podcasts, the process can easily become daunting.
To keep the spark between you and your target language alive, make sure to supplement your main learning method with some other activities.
For example, you can learn with a textbook or a language app, stay focused for half hour, and then reward yourself with a short YouTube video in your target language. You can also attend language classes and then play video games in your target language after.
Such an approach won’t only allow you to get rest when learning, but also see the foreign language from a different perspective in one study session.
This Is Just a Start
There are countless ways to make learning a language more fun – these seven are just a start. But, even if you don’t like any of them, don’t get discouraged.
Remember that not everyone learns in the same way. Look for methods that work for you: compete with your friends in homework assignments, study in the park to get some fresh air, or combine the language you’re learning with other studying subjects you like, whether sports, knitting, or music.
Feel free to get creative, and explore what works best for you. Most importantly, don't forget to have fun while you're learning!