Linguistic immersion ... at home

Dear Chatterbug Community!

Since we can’t travel anymore :earth_americas: , let’s exchange tips for an “home-made” linguistic immersion :smile: :house_with_garden:!

As I was learning English and then German I used to:

  • Put sticky-notes everywhere to learn the names of things I used in my everyday life - within a few days I redecorated my kitchen and bathroom :sweat_smile:

  • Read in the target language a book I already knew well - after reading three times Harry Potter in French, switching in English was easy and would not alter the pleasure of reading :blush: :closed_book:

  • Put my apps - Fb or messenger apps, for exemple - in the target language :left_speech_bubble:

What about you? Do you have your own tricks to live and breath in another language without leaving home :wink:?

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These are really great ideas! When I started learning German I rewatched some childhood cartoons like The Magic School Bus and animated films by Hayao Miyazaki. (watching dubbed movies and TV shows distract me, I always want to figure out what the actor is saying!) I also tried to find music that I liked in the target language. It was the best feeling understanding the lyrics of a song! :blush:

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I know that COVID times have allowed a lot of folks to (re)discover a bunch of activities they can do from home (yes, that includes baking bread and doing yoga) . Why not integrate language learning into your new routines? That might mean seeking out recipes, cooking videos, Youtube workouts, video games, podcasts, etc in your target language. It’s a chance to learn a set of vocab that you are actually interested in applying everyday!

P.S. For anyone interested in learning English through yoga, I would recommend ‘Yoga with Adriene’. All her videos are free on Youtube, she speaks slowly and leads awesome yoga practices for beginners/intermediate yogis!

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Great advice!
I also like the option of audiobooks. I use the audible app, where you can slow down the pace in increments of 0.1 (and, surprisingly, it doesn’t affect the audio quality too much). When I start listening to a new audiobook in the target language (in my case, French), I begin with a slowed down pace to get used to the narrator, the particular vocabulary, etc.and then after the first few chapters gradually increase to full speed.

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Good idea to adapt pace, @ameliea !
Do you have any recommandation of good Audiobooks for people learning French :slightly_smiling_face:?

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@Leocadie I’m afraid I don’t really have any good recommendations, I’m rather still struggling to find something suitable myself :see_no_evil:

The only advice I have is to avoid novels. Two reasons: First, they tend to be full of lengthy, detailed descriptions of things, people and places, often using fancy or rare adjectives. Second, they are usually written in the passé simple. I feel both aspects are not really useful when you’re trying to improve your day-to-day vocabulary / everyday language use.
Thus, I try to go with something from the popular science / psychology / “self-help” genre. I’m currently listening to the French translation of Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” and having a hard time to deal with all the neuroscience lingo (I’m somewhere around B2 level myself, at least in terms of reading/listening comprehension).

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That’s a valuable advice, thanks @ameliea! If one wants to read a novel as a beginner, then it may be a good idea to start with a book one is already familiar with in its own language :wink:!
Wow, I’m impressed! Have a nice time listening to Charles Duhigg!

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@Leocadie I love the sticky notes idea! I think I will use it from now on.

Depending on which level one is, children’s books are great! My sister-in-law is French and her sister’s children are still very young and they often want people to read them something. They don’t care about mistakes :blush: The vocab and grammar is easy enough to get into the flow of things without being boring. As the children get older, their books will evolve with them and one’s own skill would also increase, I’d say.

I am also a big fan of movies or series with subtitles. I generally enjoy them in their original languages more. The more you watch, the better you get. You could also level up by watching the movie in the target language with subtitles in the target language as well. But that’s for advanced learners and I am most certainly not there yet :joy:

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There are lots of ways. Passive learning (listen to TV, music, podcasts) in the target language is very useful, although you are not really paying a lot of attention (maybe you are washing the dishes or ironing or doing anything else “boring”)

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@Mijeanne children’s books are a very good idea :grinning:!! I love them too, also because they are often very nicely illustrated, which makes them nicer to start reading in a new language :star_struck:!

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Very true, @VivianaG! Our brain is working even we don’t have the feeling it does. Our ears get used to the music of the language with passive listening!

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