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3 Ways to Immerse Yourself in a Language

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There’s been a lot of new language learning going on these last two years! Per a Lingoda survey, 60% of people started learning a new language during the pandemic, whether it was to come out of lockdown feeling more confident in their communication skills or it was simply a hobby they developed during downtime.

One of the best ways to learn a new language is to totally immerse yourself in it. Yet, traveling to a region or a country where the language you’re learning is primarily spoken isn’t exactly possible for everybody, especially given travel restrictions in the aforementioned pandemic. It can require a lot of money and time you might not have, even if you’re spending and packing light on travel wear from Fresh Clean Tees.

As an alternative to actually roaming the cities and countryside where your language flows freely, I’ve put together three ways you can very easily immerse yourself in the language without buying a ticket.

1. Rewatch your favorite movies.

One of the biggest positives to being surrounded by people who speak a language is the fact that you get real world experience by regularly listening to conversations and partaking in the most natural exchange of language. Decades of research, as noted by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, have shown that language immersion brings several benefits to language-learners, such as cognitive skill development with a correlation between language and literacy.

So an alternative to being around people speaking the language you’re learning is to watch familiar media in that language.

That means it’s movie time! So curl up and comfy out in your favorite men's pullover or hoodie and figure out a few movies you’ve been meaning to rewatch, this time dubbed in the language you’re learning. It’s so much easier to absorb when you already know what’s being said, even if you don’t recognize how it’s being said.

This gives you a solid amount of time to take in different conversations as they happen. It’s natural, it’s familiar, and you can rewind as much as you want. It’s a perfect way to explore the new language from home, rather than under pressure in the real world.

2. Listen to music.

Listening to music in the language you’re learning is another simple way to immerse yourself. You can easily put it on while driving or doing chores. There are two things to note, though.

For starters, it’s ideal to seek out foreign language covers of songs you already know and love. Just like watching your favorite movies in another language, your favorite tunes are something you already know by heart, so it’s easier to connect which new words mean the old words!

Secondly, you can dive right into new music in the language you’re learning. For example, say you’re learning to speak Japanese. You can seek out Japanese bands in genres you enjoy and give them a listen. This is great exposure to the language and you get the added benefit of discovering new music, so it’s an inherently fun process tied to an educational one.

3. Have a foreign language hour.

Learning a new language is just like any other kind of developing skill. You’ll get better at it the more you practice it. That’s why setting aside some time in your week to have yourself a foreign language power hour can be especially beneficial to you. For this hour, you can do just about anything that involves speaking, writing, reading, or problem-solving. It’s just setting aside part of your schedule to really get into it.

You might decide to take your foreign language hour to the beach, in your summer getup of a tank top and swim shorts, to read a book or listen to audiobook/podcast/lessons in your chosen language. The beauty of the foreign language hour is that it’s totally up to you. As you continue to learn your new language, you can always add more time to your hour as you see fit.

With these three different yet simple ways to get yourself immersed in a language, you’ll be well on your way to seeing an improvement in your language skills! Whether you’re learning Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, or Klingon, you can now approach your chosen language in a new light.

With these three different yet simple ways to get yourself immersed in a language, you’ll be well on your way to seeing an improvement in your language skills! Whether you’re learning Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, or Klingon, you can now approach your chosen language in a new light.

— Paige Lyman

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