8 ways to maintain your language skills
Published on October 12, 2021 / Updated on January 8, 2024
You’ve dedicated lots of time and effort to learning a new language – you want to avoid forgetting it! Take a look at our eight creative ways on how to maintain your language skills, whether you want to stay fluent or just keep your intermediate level up-to-date.
Connect with a tandem conversation partner to keep your speaking skills fresh. Tandem language sessions usually involve connecting through informal meetings in a café or going for a walk with someone who wants to learn a language you know, and vice versa. You speak one language for a set amount of time, and then switch. If you’re at an intermediate level or higher in your target language, you can even try helping beginners learn too. There’s nothing like explaining a concept to really cement your own knowledge!
Many blogs will suggest listening to music in your target language, which is great, but it’s also good practice to take it to the next level and try to sing along. Lyrics are easy to find online, and there’s nothing like singing to improve your pronunciation. Regularly update your singalong playlists by checking streaming services or YouTube for the latest releases.
While tandem conversation sessions are great, if you really want to refresh your skills in a more structured way, try an online conversation class with Lingoda. All the teachers are native speakers, so you’ll not only get the correct grammar, but what people actually say in everyday life. You can do a conversation class in a group setting with up to four other students, or even one-on-one if you purchase private lessons. Either option can help you strengthen your conversation skills.
Stay connected to current events in your target language community by reading the news online. This helps you with your reading comprehension, but also keeps your connection to the culture. It doesn’t always have to be current events – try other sections of these publications like food, travel, style and sports. It’s always good to get a different perspective on the world.
Track down some interesting creators on social media in your target language. They can be making content about learning the language, but don’t limit it to that. Look for food bloggers, sports commentators, comedians, and musicians to get a range of different language content. You can also look for other subjects that interest you, whether that’s talking parrots or toy unboxings. All that matters is they speak in the language you’re hoping to maintain.
It doesn’t have to be a language course, but a course in something else entirely (as long as the class is in your target language). There are loads of online courses in everything you can think of online – from knitting and crocheting to car detailing and cooking. Turn on the subtitles, and enjoy learning about something new while maintaining your language skills at the same time.
Need an excuse to browse Netflix? Use it for refreshing your language skills. Ideally, pick a film or series that was made originally in your target language, rather than watching a dubbed version of something in your own language. We’ve all had the experience of watching something subtitled in another language and finding the translations not quite right! Watching films and series made in your target language will have the added benefit of using colloquial terms that can be hard to learn in a classroom setting.
We’re always on our phones, so use that time to do a bit of language practice. Not by downloading an app, but by changing your device language. In your device settings, you can change the system-wide language on your phone. This will make every menu and button use your target language, so be prepared to see a lot of changes. Try it for a day or two a week to keep your language skills up to date.
Take a look at our eight creative ways to maintain your language skills, whether you want to stay fluent or just keep your intermediate level up-to-date.