|There’s a saying that trust is hard to earn yet easy to lose. The same can be said for foreign language skills.
|Being proficient in a new language takes hours of practice and study, but if you stop using the language it will fade from your memory. To put it simply: if you don’t use it, you lose it. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate the language into your daily life as much as possible if you’re serious about learning. But how do you do that if you don't live in the country?
|In this video, we'll look at five ways you can use your target language on a daily basis and immerse yourself in the language, even if you don’t live near native speakers.
|Number 1: Live your digital life in your target language
|As access to technology increases, people are living more and more of their lives on the internet. Use this lifestyle of constant connection to your advantage.
|Most devices (whether laptops, phones, tablets, or other connected gadgets) have an option to put their operating system in another language. Why not put the devices you use in the language you are studying? Just scrolling through things on your smartphone won’t make you fluent, but it will force you to interact with the language every day in a small way. When it comes to foreign language acquisition, every little bit helps.
|You can even switch your social media platforms or web browsers to your target language. The time you spend on your devices now becomes study time.
|Number 2: Relax in Your Target Language
|Everybody likes to kick back and entertain themselves in some way. Why not use this part of your day to learn more?
|Try looking for tv shows, music, or movies in your target language. You can use subtitles or follow along to by reading lyrics if your level in the language is on the lower side.
|It also helps to if you approach this language learning time as fun and not work.
|Don't force yourself to watch movies you don't like or listen to a kind a music you have no interest in. The point is to keep a casual, relaxed study environment.
|Number 3: Journal or keep a diary in Your Target Language
|It might not be so common to write out your thoughts or the events of your day in a journal anymore, but it can be a great language learning habit.
|You can do this by writing by hand in a notebook or on a laptop using a foreign language keyboard. That way you don’t have to worry about your handwriting (and can even practice typing in your target language).
|As you try to express your thoughts in a foreign language, you might find gaps in your vocabulary. This is a good thing! Filling in these gaps is what will build your skills and increase your ability in the language. If you’re not sure how to correct your own journal entries, you might want to try finding a site online which will allow you to upload writing (and have it corrected by native speakers).
|Number 4: language exchange with native speakers
|A language exchange is a classic way to learn a language.
|In a language exchange, two people who speak different native languages help each other practice. For example, if you’re a native Spanish speaker and are learning English, you would find a native English speaker who is learning Spanish. Partners take turns speaking their target language, and the native speaker provides help and corrections. This is one of the most ideal ways to practice your speaking skills.
|So where do you meet native speakers?
|If you don’t live in a country where the language is spoken, your first option is to check around locally. Are there any language clubs or exchanges around your city? Check out meetup websites. You can also check around local universities as well. If there’s a language club that meets nearby, you may be able to find some native speakers.
|If you can't find a partner or a group to meet with in person, check online. There are a good number of foreign language exchanges, most of which are completely free to use!
|Number 5: Work with someone else learning the language
|Another great way to sharpen your language skills is to work with another person who is also learning the language.
|If your level is higher than theirs, you'll learn a lot by trying to teach them or help them understand difficult concepts. If your level is lower, you’ll be able to draw from their advice and experience. If nothing else, you have a new language partner to practice with!
|It’s easy to forget sometimes that using a foreign language is actually what makes language learning so fulfilling. Sometimes, after hitting a plateau or struggling with the language, you can forget why you started learning it in the first place.
|So whether you’re learning in a class or you’re teaching yourself the language, daily immersion will help you enjoy the language and keep your skills sharp! And for even more ways to stay immersed in the language, check out our complete language learning program. Sign up for your free lifetime account by clicking on the link in the description. Get tons of resources to have you speaking in your target language. And if you enjoyed these tips, hit the "like" button, share the video with anyone who's trying to learn a new language, and subscribe to our channel. We release new videos every week! I'll see you next time. Bye!