Whether you’re on a cross-country trip, trying to travel the world, or your job involves a lot of driving, one thing is clear – you’ll have a lot of time on your hands. And, while it’s true you shouldn’t perform distracting activities while driving, you still need something to do during breaks and halts.
So why not try to learn a new language or master one you know at a beginner level? It gives you something fun and exciting to do, and it can be extremely handy sometime in the near future. And it’s rather easy to integrate into your routine.
If this sounds appealing, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Apply the Immersion Method
Have you ever wondered how young children learn a new language? They don’t have the understanding to go through complex grammar rules, and some are too young to read anything advanced. And yet, many kids are capable of speaking several languages fluently (at a low-grade level, of course).
The secret stands in what linguists call the immersion method. Kids learn a new language easily because they hear it spoken by their parents, teachers, and other adults in their lives. Also, they learn through the media they consume, especially online content.
What’s even more interesting is that adults can apply the same method to their own learning. It’s how you learn a new language by simply living in a different country and working with native speakers (if you’re open enough to socialize).
Now, if you travel in a foreign country, you can apply this method by stopping by and having a chat with the locals, talking with your suppliers (business-related), or making friends. If you’re on a ride through the country, you can still create an immersive environment by listening to podcasts, music, and even radio in your target language. And you can do this while driving!
You may not get much of what’s said, but the brain will register the intonation, accent, and the way the words connect together. This way, when you have time to stop and focus on grammar and active learning, your brain is already fine-tuned to the language.
Take an Online Class
Nowadays, it’s rather easy to find an online course for any language. However, it’s best to look for one that provides access to native-level teachers, so you can catch onto all the nuances of the language.
For instance, if you want to learn French, the best way to improve your language skills and its uniqueness is by taking a French course where you can hear natives speak. Also, it helps to interact with your teachers so they can also hear your pronunciation and way of building phrases.
Change the Language on Your Devices
Once you know the basics and can understand low-level sentences and terms, you can take it up a notch and start reading in your target language. Sticking with the previous example, if you don’t have any books in French yet, you can change the language on your phone and try to figure things out.
However, it’s best to start with a device that’s not vital for your communication with the world. After all, you don’t want to ignore any warning notifications just because you don’t understand the content.
Interact with Native-Speakers Online
Even if your trip doesn’t take you to France (not yet, anyway), you can still find native speakers interested in interacting with beginners. There are various online groups you can enter and apps where you can find yourself a French friend who wants to learn English, and you can swap experiences.
Overall, language learning is a lot easier nowadays due to easy access to resources, people, and teachers. So, if you don’t want to feel like you’re wasting your time during long drives, start working on your French today!