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So you think and say it is hard to start training your brain in the language you want to learn and be proficient in?
Well, if you already live in Australia and want to improve your English skills then you are up to a fantastic start, though you could still make use of some more tools to build your vocabulary, improve your reading comprehension, brush up your writing skills and become a proficient user of English.
But, if you live down under and your goal is to learn and be proficient in French or Spanish and think it´s hard to get into it because there is no exposure to these languages in Australia, you should think again.
Here are some ideas for you to take into action with the utmost goal of improving your language skills everyday this year.
1. Use it
Use the little or much French, English or Spanish you already know and put it into further practice every day. Consider your hobbies and pick one or two words or expressions related to these activities and find out how you would say them in French or Spanish. Try say numbers or figures in French or Spanish, maybe the bus route you normally take. How would you say “I take the 333 bus to work” or “the 333 bus”? Or, your phone number? Or, how would you say one thing you do everyday and/or did yesterday? How about saying “I love (insert activity/thing here) ”? Or, how about changing your email account default language to French or Spanish or English?
If you live in Australia already, how about practicing introducing yourself in different scenarios? Or, what about learning about current events and giving your opinion about them fluently? Or, how about learning everyday Australian slang and handy words to sound more natural?
2. Immerse yourself
Take an intensive course in the language you want to learn. 4 to 5 hours a day could be a good start to exercise your brain in that foreign language. After classes you would do home work and keep using the language like we discussed in point 1 above remember? The immersion classes can be private or in a group, enquire about what is available now.
3. A little a day
There are so many Podcasts, videos, short films, TV show extracts, radio stations, TV series, music, newspapers, cartoons and many more learning tools in English, French and Spanish available online nowadays. Go right ahead and take advantage of these. Sign up for those word-of-the-day emails. Download an app to learn French or Spanish words or phrases or to conjugate verbs. Download the TuneIn Radio app to have access to radio stations and newspapers in other Spanish, English and French speaking countries.
4. Entertain yourself in English, French or Spanish
Modern and many old and not so old movies are now available with subtitles for you to watch. What is your type of movie? Try finding it with subtitles in English, French or Spanish and watching it. Love listening to music on your way to work or in your car? Download modern songs in on iTunes, or if you have French or Spanish speaking friends ask them what singers/bands they fancy and download them.
5. Social media to your advantage
Everybody has specific interests, hobbies and preferences i.e. environment issues, cooking, gardening, current events, health, charities, etc. Sign up or join a social media group where a topic or issue of your interest is discussed in the foreign language you are learning. Follow an English, French or Spanish speaking celebrity on Twitter. Like reading? Find bilingual magazines and books. Like my Fb page to get fun facts, useful pieces of advice and info about languages, new ways and tools to learn a language, word plays, word facts, articles and more.
6. Think in English, French or Spanish
As much as you can. How to achieve this? Put in practice the five above points on a daily basis if possible or perhaps on a weekly basis. The more the merrier. The more you practice the better you´ll get at it.
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