If you have dreams of studying abroad with a program like Abbey Road, you’re going to want to at least have a basic grip on the language of the country you’ll be staying in. You don’t have to speak like a native to get by, but it is a lot more fun if you can understand what locals are saying to each other as they pass by you on the street!
Luckily, in this day in age, there are tons of ways to make language learning easier. In fact, there are five things in your room right now that could help you master your target language in no time, like:
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Smartphones keep us connected to our friends and family, but they also connect us to some great language learning resources. There are many free apps available (Duolingo and Memrise, for example), that help you learn a language by playing games, making flashcards, and listening to native speakers pronounce words.
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Movies are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in a language. If you want to learn Italian, try downloading a movie like La vita è bella on your computer, and watch it with the original Italian audio track. If you’re not quite fluent enough for that yet, turning on the Italian subtitles could help you to follow along, and to see which words you need to study.
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There are hundreds of websites that let you listen to music or audiobooks in your target language. Plugging in your headphones while you listen can help to block out outside sound, so you can focus on the words without distractions.
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Whether you prefer ebooks or paperbacks, reading is one of the best ways to learn and retain new words. Websites like Project Gutenberg have a huge supply of free foreign language stories, novels, and textbooks that you can download for free.
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The number one most important thing you need to do when learning a language is to immerse yourself in that language. For an hour or so a day, try to shut out everything and everybody else in your house that speaks your native language, while you focus on using the above tips to read, listen, practice, and (most importantly) think in your target language.
About the Author:
Jessica A. Scott graduated from the University of Louisville with degrees in English and Humanities with concentrations in Literature, Linguistics, and Classical and Modern Languages. She has a passion for languages and has made many trips to Italy, where she works on perfecting her own Italian language skills as she visits some of the most beautiful places in the world.
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