Learning a new language can be quite the challenge – but one of the most rewarding
experiences you can have! Weeks, months, and years of studying can go into language
learning, but if no work happens outside of the classroom, limited progress will be made.
So how can you make sure your language lessons stay on track? Read these six ways to create
a language environment at home.
1. Speak the language as often as possible with family members.
This is the most effective way to learn a new language – you will never improve at something
unless you practice. When you have conversations, try speaking in the new language, and
before long you will begin to think more clearly in that language.
2. Label everything in the house.
In a Spanish class I took once, our teacher had taped labels in Spanish to almost everything in
the classroom. Not only did this give us vocabulary for things we could see, but it also allowed
us to interact with the language – suddenly I was holding a lápiz instead of a pencil. Take sticky
notes with the words you struggle with and post them around your house/apartment. Write
sentences first thing in the morning to get your brain thinking early.
3. Watch TV in the chosen language.
This is probably the easiest way to create a language environment at home – all you have to do
is turn on the TV! Hearing the words spoken in another language by a native speaker will help
you with accents and pronunciation, making your speech much more understandable to native
4. Listen to music in the chosen language.
Again, with my Spanish language learning, this has been a great help. Listening to music can
create a learning environment, and all you have to do is look up songs and lyrics. Looking on a
Top 10 list of highest rated songs in the country that speaks your new language can help you
find songs that the locals enjoy. Reading the lyrics along with the music helps with translating
and understanding what the singer is communicating. Music brings people together, and songs
can be a really fun way to learn new languages.
5. Correspond with someone foreign.
This idea works for people who are looking for a social way to create a language environment
for themselves. Finding someone to talk with from the culture of the foreign language is a great
way to increase your abilities as a language learner. From texting to Facebook to the
old-fashioned snail mail, communicating with a native speaker can exponentially improve your
writing skills. Your penpal can give you advice and correction on your grammar and vocabulary,
as well as teach you new words. You will gain a friend and a teacher.
6. Have a theme night surrounding the language.
This may be my favorite on the list, so I saved it for last. Having a theme night surrounding your
new language could involve cooking food from the other culture, watching a movie in the other
language, and learning a dance from another part of the world. Not only will this immerse you in
the language itself, but it will also immerse you in the culture.
Now that you have read these 6 ways to create a language environment at home, try them for
yourself! Share your experiences with your friends and enjoy your new language skills!