There’s nothing quite like total immersion for learning a language.
You hear it all the time, you speak it all the time, you even begin to think in it some of the time, and eventually your second language will start to flow as smoothly and naturally as your first language.
Unfortunately, not everyone has an opportunity to experience a full immersion program. They may even find this level of immersion a little daunting.
At Arab Academy, of course, we do what we can to facilitate some opportunities to put your Arabic to practical use, which gives you the chance to seriously boost your language abilities. Still, if these options aren’t right for you at the moment, there is a lot you can do on your own to keep the language fresh in your mind.
These small, simple things are a great way to get started as you dive into the language a little more every day.
1. Put Your Phone to Good Use
Your smartphone is the gateway to language immersion. Whether you’re playing some simple word games, listening to a favorite podcast, or using a flashcard app to memorize some new vocabulary, these devices can be a powerful tool and a great way to advance your language skills.
It may be hard to choose an app that teaches Arabic over the latest match-4 puzzle game, but if you’re dedicated, you can put the time-wasters away and make the move to time-enhancers.
2. A New Video Every Day
There are many online sources for new and interesting videos in Arabic. Find a couple YouTube creators that you enjoy and watch a new video from them every day. It doesn’t have to be a long one, it just has to be long enough to exercise your mind with a little bit of the language.
3. An Old Video Every Day
New videos can be fresh and engaging, but it can be hard to pick out vocabulary words and sentences with a single viewing. Save the videos that you found particularly interesting and make sure you watch them several more times. Little by little, you’ll start to pick out more words and understand how sentences colloquial phrases are used.
4. Keep a Notepad Nearby
Writing things down by hand is a great way to remember more of the language because it engages more of your mental capacity. Not only are you taxing your memory, you’re using muscles to write it out and visual cues to build recognition. So, when you hear new words or sentences, write it out in your notepad and revisit these discoveries often.
5. Label Everything
Some simple labels or names on post-it notes placed all around your house can help you start thinking of everyday objects by their Arabic names as naturally as you do your native language. After a while, you won’t even have to see the actual word. Just seeing the note from a distance will remind you to recall the Arabic word for it.
6. Teach Others
When you learn something well enough to teach it to someone else, that’s when you’ve really started to master a new language. You don’t have to sit your friends and family down and give them a full lesson, of course. Simple tell them what you’ve learned about Arabic and how you’ve started using your new abilities throughout a normal conversation.
7. A New Word Every Day
The idea here is to focus on memorizing a few common words and make sure that you use them at least once or twice throughout the day. This means vocalizing these words, not just repeating them in your head. (You could do more than one word, of course.)
8. Practice How You Would Say It
When you’re getting started as you learn to speak Arabic online, chances are you won’t have the vocabulary or grammar to translate everything you want to say word-for-word. So, how would you say it? There’s also a good chance that you have the vocabulary and grammar to express the same idea, just in a round-about sort of way. So, take a few moments every day to explore how you could say any given sentence with the skills you already have.
9. Listen to the News
The news isn’t always the most interesting thing to listen to, but as you are exploring different videos online, a news service is a great place to start. This is because normal YouTube videos are going to use a lot of slang and colloquialisms while news readers are going to use the most proper and grammatically correct Arabic possible. This will make for a stronger foundation going forward.
10. Have a Simple Conversation
A language is learned in the speaking of it. Even if you can’t completely immerse yourself in the language, you can do the next best thing and make the most of our online Arabic courses that include conversations with a native speaker. These simple conversations (well, they’ll be simple when you’re just starting out) are the best way to use your new language skills and get immediate and effective feedback so you can keep improving.
Immersion in a foreign language is an important part of the learning process, but not everyone has the opportunity to travel to another country where they can hear it and speak it all day, every day. These simple tips and activities, though, can help you find ways to add a little more of the Arabic language into your daily life.