How To Learn A Language During Quarantine

Achieving fluency at home is a lot easier than you think.

Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about learning a new language?

Without even knowing you, I can tell the answer is yes. After all, you want to travel the world, explore different cultures, and become the type of person you want to be. But for one reason or another, you don’t know how to start.

Right? You tell yourself that it would be an incredible experience to speak Spanish on the beautiful beaches of Mexico or Costa Rica. But with jobs, family, and other aspects elements of life taking over your schedule, it’s understandably difficult to find the time.

Over the past few months, we’ve all found ourselves spending a lot more time at home than usual. So if you’re hoping to be more productive during quarantine, now is the perfect opportunity to learn a new language.

Here’s how.

1. Download Language Applications

When you start from the beginning, using applications such as Duolingo is a great way to start the process of learning a new language. After all, they focus on teaching you basic vocabulary and grammar that you’re likely to encounter during a conversation.

Although I’ve been conversationally fluent in Spanish for a long time, I’ve been using quarantine to teach the language to my Mom. Each evening, she’ll spend 20 minutes learning new words, and trying to understand Spanish pronunciation.

Within a couple of weeks of using the app, she’s learned enough vocabulary to have a basic conversation with me in Spanish. So if she continues making progress each day, the power of compound interest will enable her to learn a lot of vocabulary very quickly.

You don’t need to spend hours reading textbooks and learning complicated grammar. That’s boring. Instead, allocate a small amount of time each day towards learning a new language on your phone, and you’ll see incredible results over time. Darren Hardy said it best:

“Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.”

2. Change The Language On Your Devices

One of the best ways to learn a language is by immersing yourself in it. For example, if you’re learning French, going to Quebec for a few months is a great idea. But when you’re stuck in quarantine due to the Coronavirus pandemic, traveling to another country isn’t feasible.

Thankfully, there is a solution. So instead of visiting a new city, it’s easier to change the language on all of your digital devices. After all, most of us spend upwards of seven hours each day scrolling through our phones.

Whenever I learn a new language, I always change the settings on my phone & iPad as it helps me to get familiarized with foreign vocabulary. Because when I’m seeing Spanish words multiple times a day, it inevitably makes it much easier for me to recall them during a conversation.

You don’t need to travel abroad to learn a new language. Instead, just change the settings on your devices, and you’ll notice it’s much easier to learn new vocabulary than ever before.

3. Listen To Foreign Music

Once you’ve learned basic vocabulary, listening to music is a great way to strengthen your listening ability in another language. After all, it allows you to understand the accent of a native speaker, and exponentially improve your pronunciation.

If you want to discover some great new music, Spotify is a great way to listen to thousands of artists singing in your chosen language. For example, I’ll listen to the Top 50 playlist from Mexico whenever I want to improve my Spanish.

Another great strategy is watching lyric videos on YouTube. So if you enjoy a specific song, it’s easy to learn the lyrics and genuinely enjoy the process of learning.

Although listening to music only takes a few minutes each day, the positive impact it has on your learning is incredibly profound.

4. Find An Online Tutor

Research shows that practicing with a native speaker is an excellent way to improve your speaking ability. So if you want to learn a language during quarantine, finding an online tutor is undoubtedly a great way to start.

For example, I have a friend from Colombia that I talk to several times each week. As our conversations are in Spanish, it’s a great opportunity to practice my pronunciation & improve my confidence in speaking another language.

Because when you make progress each day towards becoming a better speaker, it’s only a matter of time until you reach conversational fluency. In the words of Dwayne Johnson:

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”

So every day, ask yourself: “What actions can I take right now to get one step closer to fluency in my chosen language?”

That’s all you need to do.

I write for people who want to live a happier life in the modern world. Let’s chat:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store