Fun ways to learn a language

When I learnt Spanish at school, technology didn’t play much of a part. Doing listening exercises from CDs and visiting the BBC Bitesize website was as technological as it got.

Fast forward a fair few years and I’m picking up my Spanish again, but this time there are so many creative ways to practise. Here are some of my favourites.

Watch YouTube in your chosen language

It’s hard even for me to believe now that there was no YouTube when I was at school. Now there are thousands and thousands of hours of Spanish at my fingertips. For Spanish I really like Hey It’s Priscila, who makes amazing DIYs and recipes. So useful for vocabulary! Now, they are native speakers so they talk FAST, but don’t be disheartened. It all helps.

Duolingo

Duolingo is an amazing free app. Some people claim they have become fluent using it, which I think is a load of rubbish, but it is fantastic for getting the holiday basics or brushing up if you already know some of a language.

Spanish Dict

This app has made a huge difference to me. Having a dictionary on my phone means I can look up a word whenever it occurs to me. It also doesn’t need data to work, so you can use it abroad without getting stung. Best of all, it shows verb tables and you don’t have to know the infinitive to look something up.

Lyrics Training

Be warned: this website is addictive! It’s basically a game where you watch a subtitled music video, and you have to type in the missing words. It’s great fun and a good way to find new artists in your chosen language. You can play here.

Spotify

Listening to music in Spanish is one of my favourite ways to learn. I try to learn the lyrics and look up new words. You will need music which is clear, especially at first. For Spanish I love Alvaro Soler and Julieta Venegas.

Buy magazines online

When I was in Valencia I picked up a couple of magazines, and once I’d been through them I really wanted to get my hands on more. I found Unique Magazines online and ordered a Spanish  edition of Glamour. I was impressed that it came within two days and will definitely use them again. Including postage Glamour cost me £5 so it is on the pricey side for a magazine, but since it will take me much longer to read than an English mag it’s pretty good value for money.

I hope that gave you a few ideas if you’re looking to boost your language skills!

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5 thoughts on “Fun ways to learn a language

  1. Lauren says:

    These are such great ways to learn a language. As well as listening to the music, I’d suggest trying to watch films in that language. Even if it’s an English film dubbed over. It can help with the listening side to the language and will help you to understand people when you’re actually in their country! For Spanish, I’d suggest Muy Interesante as a magazine to read, it’s free and all their articles are online 🙂

    Lauren 🙂 x

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  2. Charlotte Severn says:

    I *tried* to learn Spanish in GCSE and it was just the worst choice ever, I don’t know why but I find a schools setting so hard to learn a new language in, now when I try in my spare time I use memrise, you get a little rocket that flies to a new place everytime you pass a language – it’s the most fun, addictive thing ever!.

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  3. Katie Louise Halsall says:

    These are such good ideas! I bought the first Harry Potter in Spanish hoping it would help me (seeing as I could pretty much recite the book!) but haven’t really used it. I’ve been learning on Flashsticks (:

    Like

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