How to create a language day

Sometimes you can’t travel (*cough pandemic cough*). Maybe you won’t be able to travel for a while if you need to save money or you’re in school or for whatever reason.

That wanderlust might be itching for you to see and experience new things in a foreign place of wonders…but you can make do from home! You can create a language day with one that you’re very familiar with or a new target language, either is fine.

I do this with French every so often. French is my strongest foreign language (I consider my level to be C1, and will often say advanced instead of fluent) and the one that I’ve been speaking for the longest amount of time. I started learning in school at age 12, so I’ve been speaking it for 17 years now.

Starting with first thing in the morning, I might listen to French news or French radio. I could make myself a croissant and tea, and sit next to my window, pretending that I’m at a sidewalk café watching the pedestrians (more like dog-walkers in my neighborhood).

If it’s a weekend, I could go for a hike while listening to a pre-downloaded French podcast on my phone. If it’s a workday, I won’t be able to get around speaking English at work. But on my lunch break, I can catch up on some French Youtube videos or an episode of a French show on Netflix.

I happen to have some French-speaking American friends that live nearby, and sometimes we get together for a meal or for coffee/tea and speak French together. If you have some francophile friends as well, this is a great way to keep up your speaking & listening practice in person.

In the evening, I might make a meal from a French recipe (I have a few books, but there are also lots of French cooking websites as well). Une salade rustique, une soupe aux courges, des crêpes…just a few dishes that are calling my name right now! Then I could watch a French movie (I own a few dvds, but there are many streaming options these days), do some writing in French, play a French card game, or read a French book.

The key is to try to stay in your target language as much as possible all day. You could even switch your phone & social media into the language, to keep your mind there. You might come across new vocabulary, or try to say something that you realize you don’t know the word for. You can find enjoyment in things that you usually do, but in your target language.

Bon courage et amusez-vous bien! xx

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