September 19

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Fall into Fluency: 6 Activities to Boost Your Language Learning this Season

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.

Walt Whitman

The leaves are changing color, the weather is cooling, and pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks (YUCK). That can only mean one thing: it's time to cozy up with a cup of coffee and start (or restart) your journey to becoming fluent in a foreign language. Here are six activities to boost your language learning this season.

1. Go on an “Autumn Word Walk”

One of the best ways to learn vocabulary in a foreign language is by immersing yourself in the language as much as possible. A great way to immerse yourself in the vocabulary of the season is to go on an “autumn word walk.” This is simply taking a stroll outdoors and noticing all the autumn-related words and phrases you see along the way—in-store windows, on signs, etc. Not only will this get you out of the house for some fresh air, but you'll be building your vocabulary at the same time! 

Once you have your list, try to use each word in a sentence. This is a great way to review vocabulary and get some creative writing practice simultaneously.

Autumn Items List in French

des feuilles / leaves

l'arbre / tree

amasser / to pick up

marcher / to walk

l'air frais / fresh air

la boue / mud

les gouttes de pluie / raindrops

un parapluie / umbrella

manteau / coat

écharpe / scarf

des bottes / boots

un manteau / coat

un chapeau / hat

des gants / gloves

du chocolat chaud / hot chocolate

une soupe / soup

un râteau / rake

Autumn Items List in Italian

le foglie / leaves

l'albero / tree

raccogliere / to pick up

camminare / to walk

aria fresca / fresh air

la melma / mud

gocce di pioggia / raindrops

un ombrello / umbrella

cappotto / coat

sciarpa / scarf

stivali / boots

un cappotto / coat

un cappello / hat

guanti / gloves

cioccolata calda / hot chocolate

una zuppa / soup

una foglia / rake

Autumn Items List in Spanish

las hojas / leaves

el árbol / tree

recoger / to pick up

caminar / to walk

aire fresco / fresh air

el barro / mud

gotas de lluvia / raindrops

un paraguas / umbrella

abrigo / coat

bufanda / scarf

botas / boots

un abrigo / coat

un sombrero / hat

guantes / gloves

chocolate caliente / hot chocolate

una sopa / soup

una pala / rake

Autumn Items List in German

die Blätter / leaves

der Baum / tree

aufheben / to pick up

spazieren gehen / to walk

frische Luft / fresh air

der Schlamm / mud

Regentropfen / raindrops

ein Regenschirm / umbrella

ein Mantel / coat

ein Schal / scarf

Stiefel / boots

ein Mantel / coat

ein Hut / hat

Handschuhe / gloves

Heiße Schokolade / hot chocolate

eine Suppe / soup

eine Harke / rake

Forvo is an excellent website for finding native pronunciations of words and phrases. You can search for any word or phrase and then listen to how a native speaker pronounces it. This is an excellent resource for learning the correct pronunciation of difficult words and phrases.

ALLEZ ELIZABETH - QUOTE -Fall into Fluency 6 Activities to Boost Your Language Learning this Season - WALT WHITMAN
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman

2. Watch a Foreign Film

Fall is the perfect time to snuggle up with a blanket, popcorn, and a good movie. And what better way to learn a new language than watching a film in that language? You can find foreign films with English subtitles relatively easily these days. Or, if you're feeling brave, try watching a film without any subtitles at all. You might be surprised at how much you can understand!

Some of my favorite foreign films are:

Movies by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Movies by Ang Lee

Movies by Jean-Luc Godard

Movies by Federico Fellini

Movies by Tom Tykwer

Movies by Guillermo del Toro

  • La Haine” (France) (French: lit. “Hatred,” released in the US as Hate)

Movies by Mathieu Kassovitz

Chomet also animated and directed Stromae's “Carmen” video.

Movies by Sylvain Chomet

  • Matador” (Spain) (translation: bullfighter)

Movies by Pedro Almodóvar

Movies by Alfonso Cuarón

  • Amores Perros” (México) (lit. dogs loves; however, perro(a)/s in Spanish is slang for bad, so this title roughly translates to “Bad Loves”)

Movies by Alejandro G. Iñárritu

  • “AKIRA” (Japan) (あきら, アキラ)

Movies by Katsuhiro Otomo

The film is called Pot Luck in the UK and The Spanish Apartment in Australia. This is the first movie in a trilogy.

  1. L'Auberge Espagnole
  2. Les Poupées russes (Russian Dolls)
  3. Casse-tête chinois (Chinese Puzzle)

Movies by Cédric Klapisch

Movies by Language

Movies in French

Movies in Spanish

Movies in Italian

Movies in German

Movies in Japanese

Movies in Chinese

Movies in Korean

Movies in Dutch

Movies in Portuguese

There are so many great foreign films out there that it would be impossible to list them all. But these are just a few of my favorites that would be great for language learners. If you have any favorite foreign films, please share them in the comments!

If you’re a beginner, try watching shows with subtitles in your target language. You can gradually start watching shows without subtitles as you get more comfortable.

3. Make a New Recipe

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in a new language is to cook a meal from that culture. Not only will you learn some new words and phrases, but you'll also get to enjoy a delicious meal! Do some research and find a recipe that looks both tasty and doable. Then, head to the grocery store and get cooking.

You'll learn about the ingredients and cooking methods used in that cuisine and get some practice reading and following a recipe in your target language. Bon appétit!

Are you looking to improve your language skills while also learning to cook delicious new dishes? Check out the following websites where you can learn how to cook recipes in another language:

MarmitonFrench

ComederaSpanish (Latin America)

KochbarGerman

Giallo Zafferano – Italian

Cookpad is a great one. You can choose by region and language. They have a fantastic community that shares recipes and tips from home cooks worldwide.

Here's what's available:

English

Español

Bahasa Indonesia

ภาษาไทย

Tiếng Việt

Français

Filipino

العربية (Arabic)

Português

Deutsch

繁體中文 (Traditional Chinese)

한국어 (Korean)

Italiano

فارسی (Persian)

Magyar (Hungarian)

Polski (Polish)

Українська (Ukrainian)

Čeština (Croatian)

Ελληνικά (Greek)

Русский (Russian)

हिंदी (Hindi)

Malaysia

Română

اردو (Urdu)

বাংলা (Bengali)

ગુજરાતી (Gujarati)

Hausa

தமிழ் (Tamil)

मराठी (Marathi)

日本語 (Japanese)

Notable Mentions

Allrecipes

Cookstr

Epicurious

4. Read an eBook or Magazine in Your Target Language

One last activity perfect for this time of year is snuggling up with a good book…in translation! If you’re not ready to tackle reading an entire book in another language just yet, no problem – plenty of short stories and poems are perfect for beginners. Or, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, why not try reading one of your favorite books in translation? Seeing your favorite characters portrayed differently in another culture can be fascinating (and slightly surreal). Whichever route you choose, reading is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in a foreign language and build up your fluency skills.

France-Amérique is one of my favorite dual language magazines. They have a great selection of articles in both French and English, so you can read along in your target language and check your understanding with simultaneous translation. You can find them on Readly.

Notable Mention: Bien dire

Beelinguapp is an audiobook app that can help you improve your language skills while you’re on the go. They have a great selection of audiobooks in various languages, so you can find one that matches your level and interests. Listening to audiobooks is a great way to improve your listening comprehension and pronunciation skills.

Check out Scribd! They offer a free trial period, and it's $8.99/month afterward. You get unlimited access to their entire eBook catalog, which includes books in several languages.

Selected Short Stories (Dual-Language) on Scribd (Buy Now)

103 Great Poems: A Dual-Language Book (German) on Scribd (Buy Now)

First Spanish Reader: A Beginner's Dual-Language Book on Scribd (Buy Now)

Italian Stories: A Dual-Language Book on Scribd (Buy Now)

Russian Stories: A Dual-Language Book on Scribd (Buy Now)

Amazon also has a ton of great eBooks in various languages that you can buy outright or borrow for free if you have Amazon Prime.

Books for French Language Learners

Books for Spanish Language Learners

Books for Brazilian Portuguese Language Learners

Books for German Language Learners

Books for Russian Language Learners

Books for Japanese Language Learners

Books for Mandarin Chinese Language Learners

Books for Greek Language Learners

Books for Thai Language Learners

5. Take an Online Language Class

Of course, one of the best – and most effective – ways to boost your language skills is to take a language class. Online classes are a great option if you’re short on time or can’t commit to attending in-person classes. And with so many different online courses available, it’s easy to find one that fits your learning style, schedule, and goals.

Language training offered by Babbel is a great way to learn a new language or brush up on your skills. Their classes are interactive and engaging, and you can tailor your learning experience to match your level and interests. You can even take classes on the go with their mobile app.

ALLEZ ELIZABETH - CUSTOM LARGE RECTANGULAR AD - FUTURELEARN-INTRODUCTION TO DUTCH
How much Dutch can you actually learn in 3 weeks?

6. Create a Language Learning Playlist

This one is more fun than it is productive, but creating a playlist of songs in your target language can be a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and get a taste of the music scene. It’s also a great way to familiarize yourself with the sound of the language and pick up some new vocabulary.

Not sure where to start? Check out Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” feature, which creates a personalized playlist of new music for you every week based on your listening history. You can also browse Spotify’s extensive collection of foreign-language playlists grouped by language and genre.

Looking for something new to listen to? Check out the City Charts playlist on Apple Music. This playlist features popular songs from cities worldwide, including Accra, Barcelona, and Copenhagen. The Daily 100 is a series of country-specific playlists, each consisting of that nation's top 100 songs. You'll not only be able to hone your target language, but you'll also get a behind-the-scenes look at popular culture.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced language learner, I hope these activities give you some ideas for ways to boost your language skills this season.

Conclusion

These are just a few ideas to get you started on your journey to fluency this fall season. As you can see, many fun and creative ways to learn a new language exist. Whatever method you choose—or whether you combine several—the most important thing is that you stay consistent with your studies and have fun doing it!

If you have any other ideas for boosting your language learning this fall, let me know in the comments below!

*Hey, this page contains affiliate links. There’s no extra cost to you, but I receive a small commission when you decide to use them. They help me keep this party going.


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ALLEZ ELIZABETH - PINTEREST - Fall into Fluency 6 Activities to Boost Your Language Learning this Season

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