21 Jul Keeping up a Second Language: 5 Ideas to Maintain Fluency
We’ve all heard the saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Unfortunately, that saying is all too true when it comes to keeping up a second language. Maintaining fluency isn’t easy. When your time abroad is over, or you’ve completed your language course, it can be difficult to maintain fluency when you’re no longer immersed in the language. Once you’ve put in the time to reach a certain level of proficiency, the way to make sure you don’t “lose it,” is to continue to use it!
Of course, this is easier said than done, which is why we have compiled five helpful ideas on how to do this.
- Talk with Native Speakers
Conversing with a native speaker is perhaps the best way of trying to keep up your language skills. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when speaking, that is how you learn. If you don’t know a native speaker, speak with someone else who is also trying to learn that language or join an online chat group like Language Practice Hangouts on Google+.
- Read Out Loud
There is a reason why children practice learning their first language by reading out loud. Speaking the language out loud through reading is a great way to keep up your skills and to improve your vocabulary. Keep a dictionary nearby for difficult phrases or words you are unfamiliar with. Visit your nearby library to find books or magazines in your second language or read text online such as the newspaper.
- Use a Language App
One newer resource that has become available are language apps. These apps are designed to help you learn and review language skills such as comprehension, vocabulary and phrases through fun games and skill levels. Language apps are a fun and convenient way to put your language skills to the test and to help work on areas in your language learning that need improvement.
- Watch a Movie
Who doesn’t like movies? Movies are a great way to see how much you understand. If you are at a beginner level, subtitles can help you understand while listening. For those more advanced, movies can help you learn new vocabulary and phrases. Movies can help you learn more about the culture and hear different dialects of the language.
- Listen to Music
Listening to music is another good tool in keeping up your language skills. While this is a more passive tool, the repetition in songs can help you remember phrases and vocabulary.
If you have any other ideas or methods of ways to keep up your second language, please comment below.