Posted on by Ulrike Rettig

5 Quick Ways to Boost Your Foreign Language

Shuttle boosters Does your day look really busy, but you would hate missing your language learning fix?

Are you looking to boost one or the other of your new foreign language skills? (Even the Shuttle, left, needed some boosters!)

Learning a foreign language as an adult requires you to find those methods and routines that work best for you and that allow you to apply them - ideally - on a daily basis.

5 ways to create a quick language learning moment

1. READ 3-4 sentences ALOUD - preferably from an ongoing book you've been following. Reading aloud (or even in a whisper) gets you to work on your "mouth mechanics" - the way you need to move your mouth in order to produce the correct sounds. In the meantime, your brain is registering word order and an idiom or two.

2. Type or WRITE out (copy) a few interesting sentences from a book, magazine, Internet site, etc. Writing out a language is very different from reading it. You become much more aware of structure, spelling, endings, etc.

3. Take a useful sentence from a book or story, MEMORIZE it, and then write it out from memory. It can also be a famous saying. The sentence can be as short or long as you wish. Do this with 2 or 3 sentences, checking back to see if what you wrote was correct.

4. Doodle or DRAW 4-5 objects, such as furniture, clothing, fruit, items on your desk. Then write the name of each item in your new language. Maybe you'll have to look up the words. No-one has to see your drawing, unless you're a Picasso. But the act of creating images and labeling them is a great way to engage your brain.

5. LISTEN for a few minutes to your favorite foreign language song and follow the lyrics closely. Music is a compelling way to experience the rhythm and intonation of a language. (We had posted suggestions for French, GermanItalian, and Spanish.)

Any of these 5 quick boosts will keep you learning. For steady progress, nothing can beat a regular learning routine, and these brief techniques can keep you going even in busy times.