How I Fit Language Learning Into Every Day

I did Italian lessons and I can’t speak Italian.

I’ll just wait until XYZ… and I’ll jump into learning Italian.

I don’t have anyone to keep me motivated.

There are lots of excuses we make that prevent us from achieving our goals. Many people believe that they’ll finally learn a language in one big go but many fail to realise that it is the little choices we make everyday that help us reach our goals.

Here is my daily routine to maintain and practise Italian. I’ve included extra ideas at the end and also some sample routines from other language learners.
What will your daily routine look like?

Daily Routine

I wake up and go for a walk and listen to a podcast from podclub.ch app on my phone.

When the podcast ends, I watch Instagram and Snapchat stories from some of the Italian accounts I follow.

While eating breakfast, I scroll through Instagram looking at the posts from the Italian accounts that I follow. Here are some of them: 6senseofficial, TMLplanet, LucreziaOddone and rinascereofficial. I search up some of the words I don’t know and add new words to a list of new vocabulary in my iPhone. I can review these words at the end of the day or when I have a free moment.

On my walk to work, I make one or two Instagram stories in Italian about the weather or what I can see.

While I’m at work, I can continue to review Instagram and Snapchat posts in Italian on my breaks. I might review a video from Learn Italian with Lucrezia or Alberto ITALIANOAUTOMATICO on YouTube.

After work,  if I’m driving somewhere unfamiliar I use the GPS on my phone. My phone language is in Italian, therefore, my GPS directs me in Italian. “Tra 1 kilometre, gira a sinistra su Stanley Street”. Settings > General > Language and Zone > iPhone Language.

Finally, I’m at home and can relax. I watch something on Netflix with Italian subtitles. I especially like watching Japanese and Korean romance/comedy shows with Italian subtitles. If there is a phrase I don’t know, I can pause it and change the language back to English. It changes immediately and then I can flick back to Italian. Ideally, if you can change the show’s language to Italian, that’s even better.

After dinner I complete a few lessons on Duolingo and research the grammatical aspects that I didn’t quite understand.

Time for bed. I have an iPod loaded with Italian language learning CDs. I set the timer to ‘sleep’ after 15-18 minutes and fall asleep listening to Italian.

There! A complete day of language learning by myself. Over a week, here are some more activities you might like to fit in.

  • Flashsticks make sticky notes with the name of household objects in your target language!
  • Italki – find people to language swap with on Skype.
  • Find a meet-up group on meetup.com to find other language learners to practise with.
  • Find a language swap partner on gumtree.com.au (Please be careful and stay safe when meeting with strangers).
  • Find a language course to do regular lessons each week.
  • Make time each with to do some self-directed practise. What do you want to be able to say in the target language? Skip straight to what you want to know!
  • Listen to music in the target language. There are playlists on Spotify that are already created.
  • Talk to yourself in the car or shower in the target language. Create scenarios in your head and practise what you would say. For example: at the shop, in an emergency or meeting a family friend who speaks the language.
  • Read a book in the target language. Figure out a style that suits you. You might like to go slowly, understanding all of the words or skip through and figure out things through context.

Here are some examples from other language learners

Leave me a comment with your routine or any good ideas that I’ve missed!

Andrea xo

img_1152 A puzzle ring from Firenze Florence on my first trip to Italy.

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