Everything is fine in learning foreign languages: they broaden our cultural horizons, give us the chance to meet new people, make new neural connections and enhance our motivation. However, attending courses or employing a teacher is not always sufficient, and then there is only one option – to learn the language on your own. But what if there is not enough time all the time?
We have the answer to that! Many of us spend at least an hour a day on the road, or even more. This time can be spent usefully. Keep a selection of life hacks and useful materials that will help you learn a foreign language on the way.
In the car
There are not many options to practice a foreign language while driving. Even if you are on vacation and hire a car from a car rental agency audiobook or a podcast with legible foreign speech will be a great option. A lot of modern rental cars are equipped with a perfect sound system so this will be a sort of pleasure. But remember that although rental vehicles are pretty safe, the driver first of all needs to focus on the road and safety. What is more, train not only listening but also speaking, repeat what you heard behind the speaker.
It is much easier to study a foreign language in the passenger seat because your hands are free. You can add smartphone apps to audio formats – for example, to learn and repeat words while getting from point A to point B. Or scroll through the social media feed in a foreign language and translate short posts of celebrities or ordinary people.
If both the passenger and the driver learn English, for instance, you can help each other: agree to communicate only in English during the trip.
In public transport
It has long been known that the time spent in the subway, bus, or tram can be turned into a full-fledged foreign language lesson (well, almost). You may find it helpful:
Watch short videos of English-speaking or French or German bloggers or videos with subtitles – there are many of them on YouTube. Here are just a few reasons to watch blogs: the videos are short and relaxed, the vocabulary is repeated, and if the blog is foreign, then you will also learn the most relevant slang.
Online courses and email newsletters
Subscribing to free newsletters will help you regularly receive content in another language: if you can not decide what to read or watch, then just open the mail and read the newsletter.
You can get useful texts, flashcards, vocabulary and grammar quizzes, as well as short videos from native speakers. But the most important thing is that it is free.
Sites with longreads
Longread is both long that you need to allocate time for it, and a trip to work or study is ideal for this. There is an opportunity to read, mark and translate unfamiliar words and delve into the context. And when you arrive at the place, you will have just finished reading everything.
On a long journey
On a plane or train, you can immerse yourself in a foreign language more thoroughly and create a language environment around you. Movies or TV series, as well as books in the original, will help in this. The main thing is to choose them in advance and make sure that they are available even if there is no Wi-Fi on the road.
There are many collections of fascinating books for different levels of language and the most complete list of films that are suitable for viewing and language practice on the road: from romance and horror to adventures and cartoons.
Another way to train on a long journey is to write something in it. Yes, everyone often forgets that you can also train in writing, which, according to teachers, is the most difficult for many students.
When you have a few free hours at your disposal, you can concentrate and write a small (or large) note – for example, you can describe your trip or choose any other topic for a mini-essay that interests you. You will definitely have time to formulate your thoughts! And for such a workout, you do not even need Wi-Fi.
We have listed only the most basic and most common. We hope our advice will be useful to you, and boring minutes (and some even hours!) trips will turn into an exciting learning process. Use every opportunity to learn a foreign language, and let the lack of time no longer stop you!