Feel like you are not learning language fast enough at school, or they don’t offer the language you want? The best way to improve your language skills for real life application is interactive media. Videos, music, poems, and movies are all great ways to learn how language is used outside of a textbook. For example, did you know 99 Red Balloons was actually written by a German singer, in the German language? It was called 99 Luftballons, and the link to the lyrics is here. Here are some other ideas:
- Practice singing along with songs, it will help with quick pronunciation and translating the lyrics to English will help you learn new meanings of words.
- Read the news in a different language. Bonus, you will be able to discuss current events from other countries with foreigners or your host family. For example, Argentine news can be found here. You could also watch a Youtube news clip, such as the one here in French. Some news is even slowed down, such as this one.
- Watch your favorite American movie, but add either subtitles or dubbing. Many movies now have multiple language options to select from.
- Find an exchange student at your high school to speak with! They will appreciate your interest in their native language, and maybe you can teach them some fun american expressions in return.
- Buy a book (or eBook) on Amazon that has been translated to the language you want to learn. Did you know The DaVinci code has been translated into 44 different languages? Even the series Twilight has been translated to other languages, and copies are often available on Amazon. The dystopic hit this year, Divergent, is available in Spanish here! Make sure you pick a book that you will enjoy, so that you stick with it.
Some other fun videos from other countries that will get you moving:
Italy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpaQYSd75Ak (Nun sings a famous American song on the Voice Italy!)
France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFVDv_Jhf2w (Elle me dit, Mika with subtitles)
Argentina/Latin America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbKLa9wk4Fc (Whiteboard singalong with Bacilos)
Latin America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJutxPOIeS4 (Shakira sings Fifa World Cup song)
Germany: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A06x-02MhlM (Cool German Words)
Know any other fun (and appropriate) videos or resources for free language learning? Let us know!