Thursday, February 3, 2011

26 Easy and Free Ways to Practice Today!

Last week I participated in the National Conference for Teachers of English (NCTE) here in Costa Rica. My presentation was about the importance of practicing out of class, so I had my participants help by listing interesting and even fun ways that students can practice a target language. Many of these resources are in English, but you can use the ideas to practice any language. 

Here are 26 of the best ideas that we came up with:

1. Listen to music
2. Watch videos on YouTube (especially for grammar concepts)
3. Write down new words in a vocabulary log
4. Start a blog and write about your thoughts
5. Watch or read news on the internet
6. Watch a movie or documentary and turn on the target-language subtitles
7. Send text messages to your classmates (but out of class!)
8. Use the camera on your computer or phone to make a video
9. Join an online chat room
10. Join a conversation or culture club if there's one in your area
11. Keep a diary in the target language
12. Talk to native speakers or tourists when you see them
13. Sing your favorite song in the language you're learning
14. Watch trailers for new movies
15. Read labels on products in the supermarket, if available
16. As you walk down the street, narrate --in your mind, probably!-- what you see 
17. Sign up for Skype and talk with a native speaker
18. Get a pen-pal/e-pal from a different country
19. Start a Vlog
20. Write a comment on your favorite band's/actor's Facebook page
21. Call a business or hotel to ask for information
22. Change your Facebook or email page to a different language
23. Download an audiobook
24. Download the free Kindle program for your computer and check out Amazon's selection of free e-books
25. Listen to podcasts
OR, you could always...
26. Study! Haha, just kidding! :)

Which of these ideas have you tried? Which sound appealing? How do you practice a new language, and what works best for you? Share your ideas in the comments section! Happy Learning!


  1. You're very welcome! If you have any other ideas or comments, feel free to mention them.

  2. Excellent ideas. thanks for the kindle link! most wonderful! =)

  3. Awesome list! How about, "Play Scrabble, Hangman, crossword puzzles, etc. in the new language."

  4. Download audiobooks, podcasts and e-books are my favorites and now reading your blog is added to my list. Thank you Ryan!

  5. @Lucy - You're welcome. It's less tiring and "cooler" to read e-books on the actual Kindle reader, but the programs are also pretty good. I have them on my computer and phone. Tell me how it goes.

    @AnnaLisa - Thanks! And those suggestions are great, too. I'll try to find some links to practice online games.

    @Sempai - Thanks for the comments, and if you have sites or programs that you recommend for e-books, audiobooks, or podcasts, please tell me!

    Thanks for reading, everyone!

  6. Thanks a lot for sending us your contact, it is a really good way for practicing our english out side.

  7. You're welcome! And if there's any way I can make the blog more useful for you, please be sure to tell me. See you tomorrow!

  8. Anastasio ChinchillaMarch 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Hello Ryan, I am cheking right now your blog and personally it´s looks awesome... I am going to carry on ckecking this blog... Tnanks..

  9. Anastasio - Thank you for checking out the blog. Same comment as above: if you can think of a way that I can make the site more useful for you as a student, please tell me!


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