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How to study a language without realising you're studying!

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

Often when we think of learning a language, we think of sitting in a classroom, writing out grammar rules, conjugating verbs and reading from a textbook. Although these are sometimes effective ways to learn important grammar rules and vocabulary, learning a language doesn't have to be boring!

Throughout my studies in school and university, I was constantly looking for ways I could improve my language skills away from the typical classroom methods, and I have compiled a list below of the best tried and tested methods which make language learning fun!

  1. Music

Music is a great way to learn a language as the constant repetition of vocabulary and the catchiness of the lyrics really help you to learn new words and phrases. Listening to music means that you can learn a language anytime, anywhere, whilst doing other tasks!

A great tip for those of you who have exams is to listen to music in the target language beforehand! I used to listen to Rosalía and Shakira whilst walking to my Spanish speaking exams at university.

If you are not sure what type of music to listen to, I recommend searching for the top 40 weekly charts of a Spanish or English speaking country on Spotify or Youtube!

2. TV & Film

When I worked in Tenerife I was often blown away by how well many of the students could speak English, and they often exclaimed how this was because they had grown up watching an English speaking film or TV series such as Harry Potter!

If you are a complete beginner in Spanish or English, I recommend finding one of your favourite films or TV shows in your native language, and then adding either Spanish or English subtitles over the top. This means that whilst you enjoy your favourite show, you will subconsciously be learning new vocabulary in the language you are learning.

As you progress in the language you are learning, you can start to find films in which they speak this language, and start by adding subtitles in your native language, then, as you progress even further, switch to subtitles in the language you are learning.

Eventually you will be able to easily watch tv shows and films in the language you are learning, without the need for any subtitles!

3. Youtube

Youtube is one of the best tools to use to make language learning fun, there are so many videos which can suit any interest!

For example, if you love to travel and are learning Spanish, you can simply search for 'guía de viaje', or any place you are interested in finding more about, such as searching for 'viaje a Madrid' if you would like to learn about Madrid.

Whether you love gaming, make-up, cooking or painting, there are so many interesting videos to watch on something that interests you, whilst improving your foreign language skills.

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