You have studied Italian for some time now and you find yourself knowing many rules but not being able to properly put them into practice, don’t you? If it’s true, you’re in the right place! Grammar rules in books often seem to be impossible to memorize and to apply to a realistic context, but indeed essential to communicate: the point is to take confidence with them and to constantly apply those rules in a creative way. By “creative way”, I mean more exciting ways than those trivial grammar exercises. There are many ways to practice your chosen language while having fun. In this article, I’ll show you some!
Creative Approach to Language Learning
We present you 7 useful ways to improve your vocabulary, your comprehension and communication skills in a foreign language.
The secrets to learn a language faster
Find a pen friend
Correspondence is a hobby that isn’t far from falling into disuse, but it doesn’t mean it’s not captivating nor a perfect idea to practice. You’ll be able to connect with people coming from all over the world, or at least the country of your target language! And you can do so whether traditionally with pen and paper, or in a modern way, emailing or chatting. Relax, you don’t have to take a plane to find pen friends, you can find people interested in exchanges of correspondence on sites as Penpal-Gate or International Pen Friends.
Listen to foreign language music and podcasts
This is something that I keep saying to my students! Who doesn’t love music? I think everybody likes to listen to some music, regardless of their favorite genre. Well, listening to music from your target language country is also the perfect hobby by which you can learn new words. You can make the most of this activity by trying to sing simultaneously to the singer to refine your pronunciation, or writing down the lyrics as a dictation or trying to translate the song. Podcasts are a great alternative which allows you being exposed to the language while you’re on public transport, while you’re cooking or showering, so that you get used to sounds, or learning and identifying regularities. It doesn’t matter if you get distracted a bit and you cannot follow along, what matters is that you’re constantly exposed to the language!
Playing video games in your learning language
This is a great opportunity to have fun and learn if you play video games on daily bases. Of course, at first you won’t be albe to fully understand if you don’t have a sufficient knowledge, mainly because video games vocabulary is pretty specific and restricted to the context. But the fact remains that you can learn new things while having fun.
Streaming TV channels
There are websites to stream programs, movies and TV shows, as RaiPlay and Mediaset Play, the two largest television networks in Italy, available on every device. However, commonly these websites are only available for those who connect from the same country where these TV companies are. Don’t worry, NordVPN will solve this problem! By using NordVPN you can filter out your connection and access foreign websites content. To do so, you’ll only need to pick the specific country you want to ‘be in’ and voila! NordVPN is available on every device: PC, tablet and smartphone. By using the coupon code LearnAmo, you’ll only pay a couple of Euros per month and you’ll get some free months as well!
Watch videos on YouTube
On Youtube there are thousands of videos you can watch for free: choose your learning language, and start to watch plenty of videos. Choose both teaching channels and channels managed by native speakers. Regarding these last, choose the topic you’re most interested in, to get a pleasant learning, and start your exposure to the language. A topic you’re passionate about will help you focusing and continue in this habit, and will lead you to learn vocabulary right of those fields you’re used to talk about. If you are in need, there’s the possibility to show subtitles to fully understand what’s said.
Take part in a language tandem
This activity is perfect to socialize and learn a language. In a tandem, participants (usually two) learn each other’s language through the exchange of written material and/or audio and videos, and this is recognized to be one of the best ways to learn a language. On the Internet you can find so many websites which enables exchanges between different languages, such as Tandem.net, or apps, such as HelloTalk.
Take a theatre course in a foreign language
Ok, this is not for everybody because many don’t like to act, and it requires a certain level of language proficiency. Acting in a foreign language will help you improve your speaking and listening skills. In addition, it could be an addictive way of studying that will enable you to exploit your language skills you acquired during your studies and to get conscious of body language and gestures. Quite often, in big cities around the world, there are communities and organizations for foreigners studying italian offering these activities. In general, there are many other activities that can be done in a foreign language, right in these organizations and communities: organize events such as movie nights, sport competitions, volunteering and & more!
Always remember to add a pinch of creativity to your study sessions, thereby stay motivated and reach all your goals successfully! If you want to listen to a first-hand experience from a person learning italian, watch the interview with Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya, the CTO of BlockFi!