8 Creative Tips for Learning a Language as an Adult
Languages are far more difficult to learn as an adult, but it's not impossible! Here are 8 creative tips you can use to help you out.
Anyone who’s been through school has likely been faced with the challenge of having to learn a second language in order to graduate. Whether it was grade school or college, you probably remember having to sit through classes, memorize flashcards, and take challenging tests in order to advance to the next level.
Some people enjoyed that experience and some people didn’t, but one thing is for sure - it’s far more difficult to do once you’ve entered adulthood.
Full time jobs make it challenging to take classes, especially language classes that would require heavy studying and academic hours. The good news is that taking a class isn’t your only option if you want to learn to speak a new language. There are other ways you can absorb information and immerse yourself in the language you want to be fluent in!
Even if you travel frequently and feel like you spend most of your time on the road or in a plane, nothing is in your way when you start on your path towards learning a new language. If you get creative, you could even end up learning more than one!
Here are 8 creative tips to learn a new language:
1. Play a Game
When you travel a lot and finally get to come home to spend time with your family or even a roommate or two, you might wish that you had something you could all do together while you’re in town. Games are the perfect way to bond, and you can make them a learning experience too. It’s not too hard to find foreign language games that are educational as well as fun. Start learning, have fun, and introduce your friends and family to the language you want to know how to speak.
2. Find an App
Now there’s an app for everything, including education. Teachers and professors use technology to help make learning more accessible, so apps have been made to help students learn beyond the classroom. You can look for language learning apps that are tailored to how you learn best. Take mini quizzes or listen to native speakers so you can get used to understanding conversations. These are good for when you have time to kill on the road and a pair of headphones you can use.
3. Take the Fun with You
Some people learn best with visual experiences, and one woman decided to have fun with it. She found some molding clay she could work with and made it into different Japanese characters. Learning Japanese isn’t easy because of all the characters you have to learn, so she practiced by creating art.
This kind of lesson could be taken anywhere and be done in hotel rooms or even the office. Challenging yourself like this could pay off big time if you find that it helps you memorize the material.
4. Watch a Movie
At some point while you travel, you’ll probably have the ability to watch a movie. It’s a good way to pass the time while waiting to board a plane or keep yourself entertained on a flight. Put your knowledge of the language you want to learn to the test by watching a move in that language with no subtitles. The characters may talk faster and more fluently than you’re used to, but it’ll help you learn how to pick up the language naturally in a conversation.
5. Go Out to Eat
You’ll have the opportunity to try new restaurants on trips, so choose to skip the ones you’ve been to before. Try a new place that will have staff that speak the language you’re learning. You can order and talk with them to practice your vocabulary and you may find that you end up having a new favorite meal as a result of your study time.
6. Enjoy a Vacation
There’s no better way to learn a language quickly than by immersing yourself in the culture that language comes from. You can do this by spending time doing activities in locations you’ve traveled to for work, or plan vacations where your language will be spoken all around you. You’ll be forced to pick up new words quickly and put them into practice without having to sit at a desk or recite things to a teacher.
7. Explore New Music
Music is an excellent learning tool! It’s why kids are taught so many rhymes and songs in early education. Songs are catchy enough to stick in your brain without a lot of time spent memorizing them, so listen to music that’s sung in the language you’re learning. You can look up the lyrics for translation so you know what you’re singing along to, and then you’ll quickly match the words with the meanings while you’re having fun.
8. Enroll in an Online Class
Education is adapting to the way technology is taking the classroom to the students, so why not enroll in an online class? You can take it with you wherever you go and even work ahead on future assignments if you know you’ll be busier during certain weeks. Online classes also let you customize your learning plan to what’s going on in your life, which is great flexibility for people who travel for work.
Get creative with the way you learn a new language and you’ll be able to progress in your studies even if you’re traveling every day. You can make art out of the language or learn vocabulary while you watch music. Try out different methods to see what works best for you, and then stick with it until you’re at the language level you’ve always wanted to reach.