You learned one or more languages some time ago? It doesn’t matter whether you learned this language while being abroad or while you attended a language class in school. There is an easy and free way to refresh and revive your language skills of basically any language.
How I Grew Fluent in English
When I was a child I started to learn English in my 2nd or 3rd grade. With 7 or 8 years of age, we learned first words like sun or rainbow. The English classes advanced with every year. I started watching series and movies in English, I read books in English. And then I ended up taking English as my intensive course during Abitur. After my graduation, I went to Australia for a few months, where I was facing real mother tongue speakers for the first time. When I came back to Germany I enrolled in a study degree which is taught completely in English. During the last years, I spent several weeks in Malta, the United States, and Ireland. Meanwhile, I read more English books than German ones.
When I think back why my English skills improved so tremendously over time it is because of one only reason: practice.
Why I never Grew Fluent in French and Russian
During school, I also had French and Russian classes. I received average grades in French and pretty bad grades in Russian. Today I know why I saw no practicality of these two languages. All my idols spoke English. I never read a single book in those languages. I didn’t even know a single movie in these languages. Also, there was nobody I could practice these languages with.
I never grew fluent in Russian and French because of one reason: lack of practice.
Regain Interest in Foreign Languages
However, today I reclaimed my interest for Russian and French. Since I was a pupil I visited France twice, and Russia once. I started to see more applicability in both languages. Today my girlfriend is a Russian native speaker and I have several Russian speaking friends. I realized that by simply listening to a language you can already learn or at least refresh a lot of that language. Meanwhile, I use Russian every now and then to speak a few sentences with some friends. Last year, I used French while traveling all around France. I realized that the only thing I lacked was the regular practice.
How to Revive your Foreign Language Skills for Free
I thought about different ways how I could come in contact with both languages more frequently. And I came up with a few things you can do for free do refresh your language skills or even learn a new language from scratch:
- Listen to podcasts and radio
- Read news and blog articles
- Watch YouTube videos with subtitles (not in your native language!)
Today I try to listen to French or Russian podcasts whenever I have some free time for it. Instead of turning on the German radio I use a free app to listen to French radio. I use my podcast app to listen to Russian podcasts. I watch documentaries in French for free by using the ARTE app. Every day I try to read a news article in either Russian or French. In the best case, I even copy the article and I read it out loud.
All these techniques are 100% free and they are a great way to practice a language regularly. I think the power of passive learning by simply listening to radio, podcasts, or audio books is highly underrated. I think that passive listening is the most powerful tool you can use to learn or refresh a language. So start today by downloading a radio app of your choice and start listening to a radio program you love in the language you wish to learn.