New Year, new programme! Just like anything else, your language skills need some care or they will rust sooner than you think. And after putting so much effort into them, that is the last thing you want to happen, isn’t it? So here are my top 5 resolutions to brush up and enhance your languages skills.
5. Read some online papers. You probably check your favourite tabloids and newspapers everyday – same websites, saved in your “favourites”, etc. Break the habits! Most newspapers have an online edition for free and even if you do not read in-depth articles, you can learn a good deal. Titles and headlines use a lot of puns and idioms that will give you some matter to reflect upon – enjoy the deciphering!
4. Compare Wikipedia pages. We are all hooked to Wikipedia, its nice sleek design, its articles about everything and its links suggestions for further reading. The only drawback is the veracity and reliability of the content – anyone could have written it. To multiply your chances of digging up reliable information, I always check an article in at least 2 languages. I thus encounter new terminology and, more importantly, I read 2 authors about a same topic.
3. Fill in the blank cases. As a language lover, you can most certainly fill in crosswords grids in your native language in a jiffy. How about trying out crosswords in a different language? That should be more challenging and bring the shine back to your word power.
2. Just back to the past. Remember when years ago, before Facebook and other new means of technology surrounded us, you had a pen friend? That should bring some sweet memories back to you. The excitement of finding a letter addressed to your name, reading the latest news in their lives… How about renewing the experience? You can easily find a pen friend who speaks a different language and who will be delighted to write to and read from you. Not to mention that it will remind you the lost art of sticking a stamp onto an envelope.
1. Treat you with a nice weekend abroad. There is nothing better than a live experience to give your ears and tongue some practice. In Europe, it’s very easy to hop from a country to another at very low costs. On other continents, there might be a bit more travelling required, but a nice holiday will certainly motivate you to find a bargain.
These are my resolutions for this year. Hopefully we will be able to keep up with them and enjoy the fruit of our work by next year! What are you undertaking this year?