For most of us, the outbreak of COVID-19 has given us a lot of free time as we quarantine at home. This is for the best though, as we want to protect the safety of ourselves and those around us. But sometimes it feels like we have too much time on our hands.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with binge-watching new shows on Netflix and taking a few well-deserved naps. But this time is also an opportunity to be productive.
Many people are learning a new skill or doing something creative. Today, we’re here to tell you why you should take this time to learn a new language! Read on to learn why and some tips for success.
Why Learn a New Language
A language is a powerful tool that unites peoples and cultures across the world. The more languages you know, the more people you can connect with and learn about.
There is no downside to learning a new language (except maybe people will think you’re too cool). But if you need other reasons, here are a few:
- It makes you a well-rounded traveler: If you are passionate about traveling, chances are you’re already thinking about your next trip once this is all over. If you are going somewhere where English is not the norm, try to learn the language, even if it’s just the basics. The natives will appreciate it. Plus it’s going to be so much easier to get around and order in restaurants!
- Others will see you as driven and intelligent: If you have the discipline to learn a new tongue, it shows others that you are driven and can take on a new challenge. If you’re on the job hunt, that is very attractive to potential employers!
- It is an exercise for the mind: Let’s face it, being cooped up for weeks on end in social isolation isn’t the best for your mental health. By focusing on learning a new skill, you can strengthen your mind and keep it active.
Where to Start
Learning a new language can be intimidating. A lot of people aren’t sure where to start. There is no right or way to learn. But here are few resources that might help you along the way:
- Online Apps: This is one of the most popular ways to learn a new language. There are a ton of different websites and apps to choose from, depending on your goals and the type of language you’re learning. For example, if you are learning Thai online, you might explore the Ling App. Other popular programs include Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. All of these can be done from home!
- Converse with native speakers: This is the best thing you can do to advance your skills. One great type of resource is a local language learning group that meets once or a week. However, social distancing complicates that design. But, you can probably find one of these groups that has transitioned to Zoom or another video platform!
- Listen to media in that language: Once you learn some basics, start playing podcasts, news, songs, and other media in that language. You probably won’t understand it all, but listening in context is great for building your abilities.
Start Small and Grow Your Skills
Although you probably won’t emerge out of this quarantine fluent, you will have laid a strong foundation. Hopefully, you will pick up essential vocabulary and phrases that will make traveling more fun.
Plus, you can always continue your studies after the fact. You may surprise yourself with just how much you like it.