Chances are you’ve heard of a bucket list, but have you ever made a language learning bucket list?
No matter what your reasons are for learning a language, you’ve probably had a few ambitious ideas about the things you’d like to do once you’ve learned it well. Maybe you want to travel to a country where your target language is spoken and live like a local or perhaps you want to read an untranslated copy of your favourite book.
Many of us can relate to these goals and lots of language learners have made those dreams a reality.
If you’re eager to start completing your own language learning bucket list, take a look at a few of these common goals for a few tips to help you on your way.
Here are our top ideas to add to your bucket list
Fearlessly speak with a native
It’s no secret that you’ll need plenty of speaking practise. Make the most of in-person or online classes and consider finding a partner for a language exchange.
It also helps to be familiar with vocabulary you might want to use, including words related to introductions, hobbies, or even just small talk. Most of all, no matter where you are in your language learning, find ways to boost your confidence while speaking, such as practising with someone you feel comfortable with, and don’t be afraid to make a mistake.
Order something new and delicious at a restaurant
Work on your vocabulary as well as your reading skills. The last thing you want is to mix up a side of potatoes with a side of brussels sprouts on the menu.
You’ll also want to work on your pronunciation to be sure you’re as clear as possible. Practise with a native-level teacher or tutor who can give you constructive feedback.
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Comfortably watch a foreign film
If film entertainment is your goal, be sure to start small. Get used to watching TV shows or other short videos with subtitles. Don’t be ashamed to pause frequently and take notes when you don’t understand something.
If there’s a particular film you want to watch, try reading the synopsis ahead of time. You may have to watch it more than once, but it’s always affirming to notice how your comprehension improves the second time around.
Read a novel
Keep a notebook and a dictionary nearby while you read and write down any words you have trouble with. Sometimes, you’ll be able to understand unfamiliar words from the context, but be patient with yourself and take a break if you start to feel frustrated.
It’s also helpful to brush up on grammar as you go along since you may come across tenses and sentence structures that are ignored in everyday conversations.
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Explore another country while relying on your language skills
If you want to travel, it might feel overwhelming to think of all the situations where you might need to speak your target language well. Planning ahead and turning your fear into courage are essential, but there are plenty of ways to feel more confident about your trip.
You’ll want to practise speaking, but don’t neglect skills like reading that can help you find your way around. Be sure to work on any vocabulary you might want to use while visiting landmarks or politely asking for directions as well.