If I could count the number of times I have wished for more hours in a day to do the things I always procrastinate, I would be a millionaire in quarantine with a list of chores.
We are amid a radical change in how we work, study and manage our time. For many of us, it is no easy feat. Although Language Partners offers effective language training online through our virtual platform, I have come up with 5 offhand ways to continue developing your language skills in your free time:
1. Make a Dish
We all must eat, right? Why not make a recipe from the region of the language you are studying? For example, if you are studying Dutch, try following a Dutch recipe for poffertjes. Another idea that has proven to be successful with students is taking a recipe that you are already familiar with and translating it from your native language to the language you are learning.
2. Switch the Language on Your Devices
Switching the language on all your devices is not as scary as you think. The smart devices we use today have become so user-friendly, even toddlers, who have yet to truly develop any language skills, can successfully navigate to their favorite videos and games. The feedback my former students had was remarkable considering this mote change. Not only did it help increase their vocabulary, but many of them said it even helped them start thinking in that language.
3. DIY in Another Language
Some of us have never done a DIY project, let alone in another language but this should not shy you away from trying. YouTube and Pinterest are full of fun and simple Do-it-yourself projects with written instructions and videos. One project that has been trending, in lieu of COVID-19, is homemade hand sanitizer. The directions can be translated to the language you are studying. However, be aware of inaccuracies when using a translator.
4. Read a Children’s Book
Reading, especially children’s books, is one of the most effective ways to develop a language. Some time ago, The Guardian compiled a list of the top 10 books for children in translation. Audio versions of these books are also available if you prefer to listen to these stories instead.
5. Build or Re-build a Household item
Assembling furniture or appliances can go either way so depending on your level and the language you are learning, this may pose as a bit of an obstacle. If you have recently ordered a new clothes or shoe rack or something similar, this could be a good opportunity to see if the directions come in the language you are studying. If not, look at an old manual for one of your appliances and check the languages. If you find your language try to read through the directions and test your knowledge.
Now is not the time to let your language skills go idle, especially if your only involvement was face-to-face. With today’s technology, many of us have been able to carry out business as uninterrupted as possible. So, if these exercises leave you with nothing else, they will at least give you a small break from your smart device.