How to supplement your language classes (almost for free!)

Practice practice practiceSo you want to learn a new language; but can a few videos or a weekly class make you fluent? Unfortunately, the odds are slim that they will. Most people need to see and use a language on a regular basis to become more comfortable with it. What can you do to supplement your language-learning method? Well, here’s what I did when I started learning Spanish again:

1. Visit a local library: Most libraries have DVD sections, where you can find numerous movies and TV shows in different languages, ranging from Spanish to German to Hindi. Or check out a book in the language of your choice and read through it with your dictionary on hand!

2. Sing along: Search for songs in the language of your choice (through YouTube, Pandora, iTunes, etc.) and learn the words. Not only is it effective…it’s fun, too!

3. Turn on the TV: People trying to learn English or Spanish can easily search through the channels to find stations in both languages. With news programs, game shows, telenovelas/soap operas and more, you won’t be bored. (And if you’re in Seattle, Univision offers local news in Spanish, so not only will it be in Spanish, but it will be relevant to you, too.)

4. Talk to yourself: Not in a creepy way while you’re walking down the street, but while you’re making dinner, getting ready for work or driving to your next meeting, take that time to rehearse some phrases you learned during your last lesson.

5. Converse with native speakers: Seek out people in your community who speak the language you are trying to learn.

What are your favorite ways to learn a language? Have you used any of the ideas listed above?