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How to learn a new language without leaving your bed

Staying at home and don't know what to do? Well, whether it's done by choice or by necessity, there are a bunch of activities that are quite beneficial to both your mental and physical health. But even if you feel like you rather stay in bed all day and turn yourself into a sloth on purpose (and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that!), you're able to remain productive without any effort! Sounds tempting? Then keep on reading and turn yourself into a productive sloth!

Why Language Learning is one of the most beneficial at-home activities

Credit: Jamie Street

Especially if you're staying at home for a longer period of time, wanderlust can become increasingly intense for some people. You might already plan your next trip or vacation abroad and have packed your imaginary suitcase. But besides ordering your new swim outfit online and working on your desired beach body, there's also another crucial part of your plan that shouldn't be neglected: your language skills. Nothing's more satisfying than ordering a Mojito in Spanish like a pro while enjoying yourself on a Cuban beach. But if you're more interested in expanding your list of skills on your CV, being able to understand and speak another language is a massive plus for any employer. 

Embrace Your Inner Lazy Learner

Credit: Matthew Henry

Let's state a fact: the brain likes to be lazy since less work means a decreased need for resources. Of course, there'll be plenty of people who say that they need their daily intellectual challenges to be happy and feel fulfilled. But being a lazy learner doesn't necessarily mean that you've got no desire to learn anything at all. It merely means that you try to find the easiest and especially "most economical" way to reach your goal. And lazy learners get quite creative to achieve that desired outcome. There's also a rumor circulating the internet stating a possible quote of Bill Gates: "I always choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it." Whether Gates even said that in the first place is questionable, but the quote still gets repeated. (But it makes an excellent motivational poster to hang in your office, right?) 

Sooooo, with that being said, there's nothing to be ashamed of if you try to find a way to stay both in bed AND still want to be productive. 

How to fool your lazy brain into being productive

Credit: Hannah Grace

One trick is to combine your task with an activity that you genuinely enjoy. F.e. if you struggle to stay on the treadmill for a longer time, maybe check out a new favorite Netflix or YouTube series that you could watch ONLY while exercising. Being able or allowed to watch the series or movie is your treat for your training efforts. 

Another trick is to distract your mind with a different task so you don't focus on the "grudge" you might have with the main task. F.e. if you dread the daily traffic jam on your way to work, look for an exciting and captivating audiobook that makes commuting more enjoyable.

If you use these two methods in a smart way, you might be surprised how much you can achieve without feeling to have to lift a finger. (Well, more or less)

Your guide for learning new languages in your pajamas 

Credit: Karsten Winegeart

Most schools are known for their "try harder" approach. Who doesn't remember dreadful grammar exercises, neverending vocabulary lists, and listening exercises about dull topics? And what happened if you still weren't able to speak the language after all that effort? Well, you were told just to try harder.

But fear no more! Here's our list of enjoyable approaches to language learning

Re-watch movies, series or documentaries 

Yep, we mean it! Re-watch one of your favorite movies or series, but change the audio to the target language. Subtitles help as well, as long as you don't use them of your mother tongue. Research shows that it's more beneficial to both hear and read what is said on screen. 

Check out websites written in the target language

Especially websites of news channels and broadcasters offer their websites in various languages. So you can always compare the content in both the target language and your mother tongue.

Look for YouTube tutorials

There's a tutorial for quite everything nowadays. So it's no surprise that there are plenty of language learning channels on YouTube as well. Most YouTubers are known for their creative content, so there's a high chance for you to find new favorite channels to subscribe to.

Connect with people from other countries on Social Media

With all those Social Media platforms out there, it's never been easier to stay connected with other people! You'll never know who you can meet in a comment section or Reddit / YouTube / Instagram / Twitter channel. So don't be shy, stay polite, and make some friends!

Play multiplayer online games

That's actually quite a similar advice as written above. The goal is to meet people from countries of your target language. And since it's always easier to get to know each other while being brothers (and sisters) in arms in a gaming battle, we just had to put this on our list!

Read your favorite book in another language

Preferably choose a book that's got no too complex syntax or plots. We'd suggest books like Harry Potter or similar for you to read (if you're fans of the series) since the plot is easy to follow and the language's also easy to read. Besides that, the books have been translated into a wide variety of different languages. 

Look for language learning apps that you might enjoy

So, yeah, it's pretty self-explanatory. There's a quite nice app for you to check out if you're interested in increasing your vocabulary: iTranslate Lingo! (A little self-advertisement never killed nobody ;) )

Change the language on your phone and other devices

We'd only recommend doing this if you're already a little familiar with your target language. Otherwise, you're "gonna have a baaaaad time"... 

Listen to music 

...and sing to it! Who doesn't know the lyrics of their favorite songs? It's helpful to get a feeling of how to use certain words and phrases and in which context. And you could also use the opportunity to look for new songs in the language you want to learn! Maybe you'll find your next favorite tune? 

Put sticky notes everywhere you can

Sticky notes! Sticky notes everywhere! Just learned the German word for "fridge"? Well, put a sticky note with "Kühlschrank" on it the next time you check its content for something edible! The more often you see the translated word next to the thing itself, the higher's the chance the word becomes part of your collective memory. 

So, there you go! No more excuses to put on your PJs and climb back into bed! And remember - the daily hustle and bustle will come back sooner than you think, so try to enjoy your stay at home (no matter how long it will be) and make the best of it :) 

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