Welcome to our cozy corner where language learning meets your daily life!
I’m a firm believer that when it comes to language learning, anything can be turned into a resource, and in today’s post, I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to transform the most ordinary products into extraordinary language learning resources.
Whether you’re a beginner or brushing up on a language, there’s something here for everyone. So, without further ado, here’s a list of 8 ways you can turn your home into a study hall:
1. Label It Up!
Let's start with something simple, yet super effective – labeling. Stick post-it notes on items around your house with their names in the language you’re learning. Your fridge, mirror, coffee table – everything gets a label.
From there, try to read each label out loud whenever you use or see the items. Bonus: try to make sentences with the new word by describing what you’re doing with them. If you’re not able to create the sentences you want to say completely in the language you’re studying, feel free to do something like this:
“Right now I’m using a 거울 to put makeup on my face.”
Hey, your home, your rules ;) Doing exercises like this regularly will help you with not only recognizing useful words quicker, but also thinking in the new language.
2. Cooking with a Twist
If you love watching food-related content or trying new things when you’re hungry, I think you’ll like this one:
Why not make your kitchen a classroom? Next time you pick up a recipe book or watch a cooking show, choose one in your target language.
From there, you could try to follow their recipes, give your review of the chefs’ final dishes, or even challenge yourself to write the recipes as the chefs describe their cooking process. Doing any of these activities will be a sure way to gain a deeper appreciation for the art of cooking in your target language!
3. Grocery Shopping: A Language Expedition
Turn your grocery shopping list into a language lesson. First, write your list in the language you’re learning. Then, try to write the amount of each item you’re going to purchase and how much the total of each of these would cost. When you finish the list, write your estimated total and challenge yourself to read the full list out loud. Bonus: review all of the items in your list in full sentences if you can.
Finally, at the store, challenge yourself to only think of the items in that language. Doing any of these activities would be a practical way to reinforce vocabulary and make shopping an educational adventure.
4. Musical Lyrics – Sing Your Way to Fluency
Who doesn’t love music? Believe it or not, you can do a lot more with your favorite songs to study than you think! To name a few, you could
Print out the lyrics and translate them.
Sing along and feel the rhythm of the language.
Memorize a part of a song that’s in your target language.
Change the lyrics to a song in your native language to the language you’re studying.
Songs are great ways to improve pronunciation, pick up new expressions, and enjoy yourself.
5. Board Games Bonanza
As you could guess, I am a huge fan of using games regularly in my study routineThat’s because each game comes with different sets of rules, which require different sets of skills you can use to put your language skills to the test!
With games, you can choose your own adventure. For example, you could play games that require reading or conversation in your new language, like Taboo, Clue, or Life. You could also play quicker paced games that focus more on building words or reacting to shapes, numbers, or colors. Take Uno, Scrabble, Boggle, or Ticket to Ride. If you don’t have others to play with at home, consider playing solo card games (take a look at our blog post with a list of solo games you could play with a deck of cards).
Practicing a language with board games is an enjoyable way to review comprehension and speaking skills while being a great excuse for a game night!
6. Movie Night – with a Twist
Movie night is always a good idea, and it’s even better when it doubles as a language lesson. An easy way to try out this activity idea is to watch a couple of movies in your target language with subtitles. Being immersed in the language by watching what you’re interested in helps build listening comprehension!
When you’re ready to take this activity to the next level, consider trying to act out or read along to parts of the movie in your target language. To take it even further, you could try to write out and memorize a monologue from a specific character. Both of these exercises are great if you’re ready to audition for your next big role!
7. Your Phone: A Pocket-Sized Tutor
Here’s a challenging one: Change the language settings on your phone or favorite apps. It forces you to interact with the language daily, and you’ll pick up words and phrases naturally as you navigate through your routine digital tasks.
When I did this for Italian to prepare for studying abroad, the first three weeks were really difficult. The hardest part is pushing through the frustration of not always knowing every word on your screen, but I think that uncomfortable feeling was what motivated me to improve fairly quickly. I recommend this idea for people who already have a strong foundation in their target language.
8. Bookworm’s Delight
Yes! Reading is a fantastic way to improve language skills. If you’re new to using books as a language resource, I’d recommend you to build a reading habit by starting with children’s books or short stories in your target language. They are easier to understand and a great way to build up your reading skills.
If you’re ready to spice up your reading sessions, I dare you to try one of these:
Summarize the chapter or portion of the book you’re reading in your target language
Read the entire book out loud
Write a few sentences about what you think will happen next in your target language
Write your favorite quotes in a separate notebook
I hope these ideas will help you reach your goals in a fun way this year. Remember, language learning is all about making the process enjoyable and integrated into your daily life. By using these everyday products as learning tools, you’re not just learning a language; you’re living it.
So, let’s embrace the fun in the mundane and transform everyday moments into opportunities for language growth.
Keep it light, keep it fun, and watch your language skills soar!
Happy Language Learning, Card Party! 🌍📚💬
Study like a diamond ♢ Practice like a club ♣ Vibe like a heart ♡ Speak like a spade ♠