When you were younger, life was about school and the associated student responsibilities. There weren’t many limitations to deal with, like a job, kids, home maintenance, and other adult obligations. As an adult, you still have goals and interests, and speaking a foreign language could be one of them. It takes about 1000 hours of study to be considered fluent in most languages, so with all the time required, how can you realistically speak a new language when your schedule is already full?
A productive way to learn a language and strengthen skills when time is limited is make use of idle times, idle time, travel time, and wait time. While you’re traveling or going to work, use those minutes to listen to podcasts or music in the language you’re studying. If you have an advanced level, listen to an audiobook in that language. Even if you passively listen to music in another language, you are learning new vocabulary, and music is a wonderful memory aid. While waiting for an appointment or standing in line, use a language learning app on your smartphone or tablet to pass the time. Brief periods of study are small boosters that greatly enhance your memory.
Read 15 minutes each day. If there is a book you like in English, try reading it in your foreign language. You don’t need to read it word for word; understanding the basic plot and becoming familiar with sentence structures and new vocabulary will make an impact. Also, you will have great satisfaction and confidence after achieving such an impressive goal. Of course, reading a novel is a suggestion. The important thing is to read something, anything that interests you: magazines, comics, romance novels, whatever motivates you to read every day. In fact, reading 15 minutes each day exposes you to more than 1,000,000 words each year.
If rereading a book doesn’t interest you, watch a favorite movie in the language you are studying. You will already know the plot so this time you will be able to follow the dialogue with a better understanding. Use subtitles if you wish. Games and puzzles They are also a productive use of time, and there are unlimited options available on the web. How about participating in a chat room in a foreign language? Not only do they provide a practical conversation experience, but they are also a wonderful source for potential foreign friends.
have you ever tried incorporating the five senses in your language learning? This can be done wherever you are. Every time you taste, smell, touch, hear, or see something new or interesting, think about these sensations in your new language. By interacting with your senses, you will train yourself to think more in the new language, not your dominant language. This is why so many language students make rapid progress when traveling to foreign countries. They begin to hear and see more foreign words than words in their own language. Eventually their brains stop translating into their own language and start thinking in the new language. When you brush your teeth, for example, talk to yourself (quietly or out loud) about the mint flavor of your toothpaste, how fresh your mouth feels, the color of your toothbrush, how you feel the bristles on your gums, how soft your teeth feel, how foamy the toothpaste gets, the water, and the sound of brushing. Engage your senses in simple tasks while thinking in the language you are learning. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Think of words and sentences and let your mind be free.
To supplement language learning throughout your busy day, practice these achievable approaches that will keep you on the path to fluency. You can do it! Having an interest in foreign languages is rewarding and opens your world to new possibilities, so don’t let time constraints limit your potential to speak a new language.