How To Learn a New Language While You Work Out
Have you ever had to decide between working out or taking your evening French class? We totally get you. With all the responsibilities that we have to face every day, finding time to do both things can be a huge challenge. But what if we told you that you can actually exercise and learn French (or any other language!) at the same time? With the methods listed below, you will be able to accommodate your language learning during your workout session.
Although music is not a primary learning method, it is hard to deny that immersing yourself in the language you are learning can help you become more aware of its sounds and vocabulary. Besides, there are some extra tips you can follow to make turn music into a true learning experience.
Do you have a treadmill or a stationary bike at home? Then we suggest you put it in front of a TV and play lyrics videos on YouTube while you exercise. You can even create a workout playlist so you can listen to the same songs every day until you can actually mouth the lyrics along (belting them out will be a more difficult thing to do while you’re running). This way, If you exercise every day, you will learn the lyrics of your favourite songs in just a few weeks! Do you realize how much language is contained in, say, ten tracks?
If you are a beginner learner, you can look for dual language videos. This way, you will not miss the meaning of the songs.
Pronunciation is one of the most difficult aspects of language learning. Articulating sounds that might not even exist in your own language can be a real pain in the neck. For that reason, you will need as much exposure to spoken discourse as you can get.
With audiobooks, you can listen to hours of professionally recorded, carefully articulated language while you do your workout routine. What is more, you get to learn the language not through boring listening activities on random topics, but through engaging, exciting stories by your favourite writers.
How many times do we say things like “I just don’t have the time to read books”. With this method, you can keep fit, learn a language, and be up to date with the latest literary hits, all at the same time.
Do you think this might be too challenging for you? Then you can choose a book that you have already read in your language or the novels that inspired your favourite movies. That way, you can make sure you won’t get lost.
If you’re not really a reader but you like to learn by listening, you can try using podcasts. This is one of the most popular methods among self-taught students. On platforms like Spotify and Amazon, you can find language courses in the form of podcasts that bring mini-lessons on different topics or linguistic areas.
More advanced students might even go for podcasts not specifically designed for learning languages. This kind of show is great to improve your oral skills while you learn about other topics. For example, there is a great Spanish podcast called “Entiende tu mente” which contains 20-minute episodes about the human mind, aimed at improving people’s understanding of their own emotions. For English learners, there is a highly entertaining series devoted to exploring “the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood’s first century”.
Did Bette Davis and Joan Crawford really hate each other? Find out while you burn last night’s meal!
Isn’t it awkward when you go out with your friends and they start talking about the latest episode of a TV series you haven’t even started yet? If you are constantly busy but you don’t want to stay behind on your favourite shows, you can place your treadmill in front of the TV and watch one episode every morning.
How can you turn this into a language learning experience? Well, why don’t you try turning on the subtitles in the language you’re learning? In that way, you can see how common words and expressions are spelt in the target language. Are you learning German? Watch The Crown with German subtitles and learn how to name the members of the royal family in a foreign language.
Which of these methods is the most suitable for you? If you decide to try one, let us know how it goes in the comments.
And if you do manage to find a spot to fit an actual language course, make sure you explore our Virtual Open Group Classes. This community approach to language learning is a unique opportunity to interact with other language enthusiasts who are at the same level as you and improve your skills with the support of a community and a native-speaking teacher!