Learning a new language takes a lot of work, but there are some little things you can do to help yourself along. While you can’t really absorb what you need to know through linguistic osmosis, passive exposure to the language you’re studying is beneficial.
Over at Scientific American Mind, Veronique Greenwood shares two studies that offer some good news to language learners everywhere. Both studies, one from the Journal of Acoustical Society of America and the other from the Journal of Memory and Language, suggest that listening to the language you’re studying outside of your normal study time can speed up the learning process. Basically, your brain is capable of paying attention to things you’ve already intentionally paid attention to. Your brain becomes more capable of passively looking for words and phrases you’ve studied, and that strengthens your mental grip on what you’ve learned-even if it’s just something you’re hearing in the background.
So listen to talk radio, podcasts, music, and even TV in the language you’re studying. It will help. That said, you still have to study hard and pay attention in class. A combination of focused practice and passive exposure is ideal. You can read more about the benefits of passive exposure at the link below.
Image via Fuji Television/Netflix.