Language learning – beat the winter blues

So it’s that time of year again – when the northern half of the world is cold, and the days are short and often uninspiring.  Nobody can be blamed for being a little bit unmotivated or behind in their studies, but that doesn’t mean that your brain should needs to hibernate.  Take advantage of the cold and depressing weather by staying indoors and learning some new language points, or add a linguistic twist to your favourite winter hobbies.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Learn new vocabulary by making word lists based around winter themes (snow sports, winter clothing, cold weather), or things that remind you of warmer times (travel, gardening, swimming).
  • Make a translation of one of your favourite winter recipes, or try to use a recipe in your target language. Winter’s a great time for soups and stews, and finding one from another culture is a great way to get in touch with the language.  Not to mention the fact that they usually take a while to cook, so you can use the time in your warm kitchen to look up cooking vocabulary.
  • Sit in front of the fire or with a warm blanket and listen to some language podcasts or review old notes.
  • Instead of hitting snooze in the morning, flip through a set of flashcards before dragging yourself out of bed.
  • Meet with a language partner for a language exchange or practice over a hot cup of tea, coffee, or a hot toddy at the pub.
  • Work on that project that you never get around to starting (handicrafts, painting, reorganising your closet), and listen to some language material while you do.

Do you have any other ideas for keeping up with your study in the winter?