It’s an interesting quirk of fate that when you want to get serious about learning a new language, the best strategy is to have as much fun with it as you possibly can! When you make language learning fun, it becomes less of a chore and you’ll find that you can get far more done. What’s more, you’ll more likely retain the things you learn because of the engaging and dynamic ways in which you learned them
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If you feel you need some ideas on how to make language learning more fun, then here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Practice Telling Jokes and Riddles
First off, they always say start off with a joke, so why not try it in your target language? Jokes and riddles have an amazing power not just to make people laugh, but for you as a language learner to provide you with a deep learning experience.
For instance, jokes can reveal interesting quirks and subtleties of your new language, such as double meanings, puns, inside cultural jokes and more. Riddles can offer practice in various grammatical forms of your new language, as well as teaching you interesting descriptions of everyday objects and concepts.
You can learn a lot about another country and culture through its humor. You might not always understand the jokes at first, but even if you practice saying them just for the pronunciation, intonation and comic timing in another language, you’ve picked up an interesting skill and had a valuable experience.
2. Word Games Like Scrabble
If you want something a bit more toned down and mellow, then how about beefing up your vocabulary with a game of Scrabble, or Boggle, or whatever equivalents exist. With these types of games, you can train your brain to search for words in your new language, which improves your critical capacity in that tongue, and allows you to better retain and understand new words.
On the other hand, if you want to practice your listening and speaking, then how about trying out a trivia game or general knowledge quiz that’s written in your target language. You can practice reading the questions aloud, or having someone else read them and you listen before answering the questions using your skills. Spanish Playground made some great examples for young learners, but you can look for whatever language you’re interested in.
3. Use Game-Based Learning Apps
You might have seen apps advertised as great tools for language learning, such as Duolingo, Memrise, Quizlet, and so on. These apps are indeed fantastic because they can turn language learning into a gaming experience. Have you ever started playing a game on your phone, or scrolling through Facebook or TikTok, only to suddenly realize you’ve burned through an hour or more? Just imagine applying that kind of time to a language learning app where you can learn something useful instead. Wouldn’t you feel better about spending time on your phone?
Language learning apps make learning fun, and even a little addictive. If you are going to get hooked on something digital, you may as well make it something useful and spend your time honing a new skill. The way the activities engage you are also helping really burn and impress the words and grammatical ideas into your brain, helping you better retain them.
4. Cook with Recipes in Your Target Language
Next, for those with a love of reading (and cooking), how about reading through a recipe book and trying out their instructions to see if your language skills can live up to the hype. You may think a recipe is just too simple, but they’re usually jam-packed with fantastic verbs, which you can pick up and use in conversation later on.
If your tutor or someone asks you how you made that French onion soup, you’ll be able to tell them more fluently and more accurately in French once you’ve finished all the cooking and gotten familiar with the language used in each step.
Another great way to practice one’s language skills if you’re outgoing, and that’s karaoke. Don’t worry, we’re saying that you have to sing in public --- though that could be the confidence boost you really need. What you can do with karaoke is work on vocabulary, pronunciation and comprehension all while you belt out a fantastic tune!
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