30+ Self Study Activities to Improve in your Target Language
It is possible to listen to radio programs from other countries on streaming websites online. Look for online radio programs from a country with the accent or dialect you are practicing at the moment
Podcasts are a great way to practice listening skills. There are many language learning podcasts that have short episodes for learners of different skill levels. If you have a low intermediate level or higher, start looking for podcasts meant for native speakers. It isn't important to understand every word, just to understand what the program is about. Be patient and tolerant of ambiguity.
If you like music, find artists that sing in your target language and look for the lyrics online so you can follow along.
Watch movies and series you already know well, but with the subtitles in the target language.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc all have a number of series, movies and documentaries in their original language. Put the subtitles on in the target language.
Youtube is another great place to find videos. Find youtubers that you enjoy watching.
TED talks often have subtitles and they can be informational and helpful for language learners.
Get a tutor and speak with them at least 1 hour (but ideally 2 or more hours) each week
Use a language exchange website or app, such as Tandem to talk with native speakers trying to learn your language
Talk to yourself out loud: in the car, in the shower, while you clean house...
Find articles online about topics that interest you. If you want articles written specifically for learners, try Breakingnewsenglish.com They have news stories that are simplified and for different levels. They also have activities to do with the stories.
Find a book that is challenging, but that you can mostly understand. Try to use context to understand words you aren't sure about.
If you like reading blogs, find one in your target language on a topic that interests you.
Do some grammar exercises. There are many free ones online, but you can also ask your tutor which books they recommend if you want to practice grammar on your own.
Make mind maps around topics to remember old vocabulary and learn new vocabulary.
Make flashcards. They can be traditional paper flashcards or you can use an app to practice them on your mobile device.
Make labels in the target language for things in your house
Visit a local restaurant or shop where employees speak your target language and practice ordering food or shopping in the language you are learning.
Visit a neighborhood where the language is widely spoken (china town, Japan town...)
If you are able to save up and get vacation time, go visit a country where the language is spoken.
Look to see if there is a language exchange club in your area for people who want to have a coffee or a beer and a chat in another language.
Change the language of your phone, computer or tablet
If you are able, get a VPN or proxy service that allows you to see what programs are on offer on Netflix in other countries.
Find a podcast that does a recap of the news in your target language and listen to that in the car instead of what you usually listen to.
Look up traditional dishes from the target language culture(s) and try out the recipes.
Look for the recipes in the target language and cook using the target language recipe instead of a translation to your native language.
Find ways to adapt the recipe to your taste and rewrite the recipe, talk about it with a native speaker on a language exchange app
Write out your daily schedule in the target language.
Fill out your calendar in the language.
Instead of writing your shopping list in your native language, write it in the language you are learning.
Find writing prompts in the language you are learning and write a short paragraph daily, or write in a journal
Play games in the target language, after all, word play exists because language is meant to be used creatively!
There are many games that can be fun to practice a new language:
Scrabble, bananagrams, munchkins, twenty questions, charades, Taboo, Codenames, Never have I ever, Uno, Happy Families, Superfight, The Game of Things, Apples to Apples, Heads Up!(app), Headbanz, Rory's Story cubes, Pictionary, Werewolf/mafia, Guess Who?, What's yours like?...