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7 Creative Ways to Learn a New Language

7 Creative Ways to Learn a New Language

Just like getting into shape requires creative methods including eating healthy practices, using fitness apps, or getting a trainer, we can take advantage of many creative methods to learn a new language.

Today, we’re going to share with you, the top 7 creative ways to learn a language, the pros and cons included.

1. Conversation Exchange

Pros: Can learn with anywhere online
Cons: Time consuming to find the right language partners

Conversation exchanges can be great for someone who wants to practice speaking their language. You find someone online around the world who wants to learn a language that you speak, and voila!

For example, if you want to learn spanish and you know how to speak English, you’ll need to find someone who wants to learn English and knows how to speak Spanish. It’s not impossible, but it does take self-discipline, patience, and more importantly, time.

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    2. Immersion Program

    Pros: Forces you to live in a different country and speak the native language at all times
    Cons: Requires a big portion of your time, money, and commitment

    Immersion programs, if you can afford it, can be a great way to learn a language. Depending on the program, you can be set up with a family host that only speaks your target language, undergo classes, and live in the foreign country that speaks your target language.

    Family sharing meal

      3. Memorize 1,000 Common Words

      Pros: Easy and simple way to get started in learning a language that’s effective
      Cons: Limited to vocabulary, without speaking practice

      Research shows that learning the first 1,000 of the most common words in a language allows you to understand 90% of the oral language.

      This is the ultimate language hack that anyone can start implementing into their studies. Take advantage of free language challenges that will send you 10 of the most common words in your target language, this will take you only 5 minutes a day to learn.

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        4. Language Meetups

        Pros: Great opportunity to meet new friends with something in common
        Cons: Time can be spent speaking English instead of the target language, if not organized well

        If you love meeting people and learning languages, this is an easy sell. Language meetups happen all around the world every week, and you can gather in one room to practice your target language.

        Fair warning: most language meetups are more social than language practicing opportunities. Either way, it’s a great way to spend an evening with like-minded people!

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          5. Online Private Tutoring

          Pros: Learn anywhere in the comforts of your home and save a lot of time
          Cons: Requires an investment

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          If time is of essence for you, private tutoring online can often be the best investment of your money and time. You can gain 1-on-1 access to a professional native speaking teacher. You can learn in the comforts of your home, and you can learn faster with a personalized lesson plan.

          Choosing the right language teacher who matches your personality and interests is a key factor, as the process of learning a language with someone is more relationship-based than anything else.

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            6. Home Immersion

            Pros: Allows you to learn a language without much effort
            Cons: Lacks speaking practice

            There’s a lot of creative ways to set up your own home for language immersion. Keep in mind, this isn’t the most optimal way to learn a language, it should be used as a complementary activity to your other learning efforts.

            One creative way is to label items in your house in your target language. You only need to set this up once, and you can subconsciously retain new vocabulary without much effort as you walk around the house.

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              7. Watch Movies Online

              Pros: Have fun while learning a language
              Cons: Not every movie will have subtitle in your target language

              What’s better than chilling out and watching your favorite movie, while learning a new language?

              This is why watching movies or TV shows online, using your target language as the audio is a great way to learn a language. The tricky part is finding movies that provide audio or subtitles in your desired language.

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                Featured photo credit: vamosblog.co.uk via vamosblog.co.uk

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                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                Joe’s Goals

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                  Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                  Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                  Daytum

                    Daytum

                    is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                    Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                    Excel or Numbers

                      If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                      What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                      Evernote

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                        I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                        Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                        Access or Bento

                          If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                          Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                          You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                          Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                          All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                          Conclusion

                          I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                          What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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