How To Start Learning a Language In College?

Learning a new language can help you enrich your life, travel with ease, and maybe even climb the career ladder faster. Starting the language learning journey while still in college opens new possibilities.

You should take advantage of what college life has to offer to improve your learning. The abundance of resources and opportunities can make learning a language more engaging and successful.

If you want to learn a language while in college, here are a few tips that can be of help.

Consider a Language Major or Minor

If you are yet to enroll in college, think about declaring a language major. You can combine a foreign-language major with another field of your interest. For example, you can get a single degree with concentrations in German and Marketing. Or, you can earn a dual degree.

Those who are already in college can choose a foreign-language minor. The reason why majoring or minoring in a language can be useful is that there will be no backing up when you commit to a language through your college classes.

Learn Through Movies and TV Series

Movies and TV shows are favorite types of entertainment, so why not make the most out of the? Watch movies and TV series in a foreign language of your choice. Pay attention that you pick the ones that are suitable for your level of proficiency.

While you watch the films or shows, turn on the subtitles to practice both reading and listening skills. Learning in this form will help you place new words in context and memorize them faster.

Read Books in the Second Language

If reading is one of your hobbies, you should consider adding a few books in the foreign language to your list. You can find great language learning literature with topics that you enjoy reading about and improve your language skills along the way. Also, aim for the books that will help you boost your skills in a specific subject. For example, if you plan to travel to Spain, you can get a short book in Spanish about this country and its history. You’ll educate yourself and work on your Spanish at the same time.

Connect With Natives

Communicating with native speakers helps with proper pronunciation, learning the slang, and getting to know the target culture. Natives can provide you with a different perspective on the language. Here are a few language exchange websites that can connect you with native speakers:

  • italki
  • HelloTalk
  • Speaky
  • InterPals Penpals

If your college has a study abroad program that welcomes foreign students, be the one who will introduce them to campus. You can help them practice English and they can teach you about their native language in return.

Consider Studying Abroad

There’s no better way to learn than to immerse yourself in the target culture. Being surrounded by the language you’re learning will immensely speed up the process. Since colleges have great study abroad programs, this is your chance to travel, learn, and add a memorable experience to the book of your life.

Get in touch with your study abroad office to collect more information. Compiling the documents for the program may be tiring, but it can also help you learn. You can take a glance at translated documents in app localization services, and learn legal words and phrases in your target language.

Write a Journal in a Foreign Language

Journaling is proven to be a powerful mental health practice. You can turn this therapeutic tool into your language learning tool as well.

Dedicate a few minutes each day to writing in your journal in a foreign language. You’ll be practicing your writing skills and relieving your mind of pointless worrying at the same time. However, you should do this exercise when you reach an intermediate level, so you don’t need to reach for the dictionary every second.

Final Thoughts

Learning opportunities are everywhere. You just need to recognize them and make the most out of them. Don’t miss this chance to maximize your college experience. Take all the resources it offers and learn a new language.

Michael Carr is a linguist, translator, and writer. He is an authoritative figure in the world of translation and often gives lectures at translation conferences. Besides his love for languages, Michael is passionate about reading and hiking.

Published by
Barry Lachey
Tags: College

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