Hey guys! Happy New Year! I hope that you start 2019 on a good note in all aspects of your life. Today, I want to talk about a language learning hack that I can’t believe I didn’t discover sooner. It’s super fun, easy, and cheap/free. Doing this will help you increase your vocabulary, improve your reading comprehension, and will give you lots of practice with the foreign language.
So… what is the hack?
Play video games in your target language!
Yep! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. I started doing this a couple days ago, when I set up my dusty old Wii in my bedroom so I could start playing the game Animal Crossing again (yes… its my favorite game!). When I was setting it up, it asked what language I wanted to play it in, and I chose to play in Spanish! It really was one of those situations where you feel so dumb for not thinking of the idea before.
After playing for a little while, I realized how much practice it gives you in your target language. With Role Playing Games like Animal Crossing, you interact with lots of “people” (animals) who have a variety of different personalities, which is perfect for learning slang and how people talk!
Why does it work?
Playing video games in your target language works so well because it immerses you in the language. If you play fantasy games, it immerses you in a fantasy environment, but in your target language! Now, while games that aren’t based on reality are super fun to play, they aren’t the best for language learning because the vocabulary you learn may not be very useful. That is why I recommend starting out playing games like the Sims, Animal Crossing, and other Role Playing games where you will interact with an environment similar to our environment on earth! For example, if you play the Sims in your target language, you will learn the words for different types of food, buildings, and furniture.
How to optimize language acquisition while playing video games
The best way to actually learn while playing a video game is to make sure you understand every word you see on the screen. I recommend keeping a dictionary (or your phone) nearby, so you can easily look up words or sentence structures that you don’t understand. To learn even more, write down every word you just learned, so you can study it later!
How do I change the language of my game?
For most console and PC games, you can change the language of the video game by going into the game’s settings and picking your target language. However, for some games, you will actually have to change the entire system’s settings.
I hope you guys enjoy this “study” method! (ps… be sure to follow me on bloglovin and pin this post!)