The world is a busy place. I get it. Not everyone has time to take classes. Kids have to be picked up from school. Meals have to be prepared. Plus, you have to get to work. But you can improve your language skills even if you’re short on time. On the way to and from work is as good a time as any to do that , no matter how you get to work or how long the trip takes. Here are 7 ways you can get started.
- Read the news.
Newspapers may seem a bit old-fashioned in today’s digital world but there are tons of news apps that can deliver content to your mobile device. I know it’s tempting to read the news in your native language, but that shouldn’t stop you from adding some news in English to your daily reading schedule.
- Make a checklist.
Keeping a list of things you need to do is a great habit. It’s natural to want to try to keep all your tasks and ideas in your head or even on paper in your native language. But why not try making your checklists in English? It’s a great way to start thinking in English. And since these are your private thoughts, it’s a way you can write freely, without stressing about spelling or grammar.
- Listen to podcasts.
You can download these little audio files from the Internet and onto a computer or portable device like an MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet. They can be news stories, funny skits, or even interviews. Make sure you sign up here to learn more about podcasts in English and how I use them to help you learn.
- Listen to an English-language radio station.
Do you have a favorite radio station that plays music that you like in English? Many radio station morning shows not great only have good music in English but they have lots of talking, too. So you can get a daily dose of English through talking and singing.
- Talk to people in English.
If you carpool with English speakers, chances are you’re doing this already. If you use public transportation, you can try striking up a conversation with a fellow commuter.
- Go over your vocabulary words.
Whether you use flash cards, a notepad, or an app on your phone, your daily commute is the perfect time to go over those vocabulary words you’ve been jotting down.
- Play with your phone.
I know this one hardly seems productive but it can be if you switch your default language to English. Actually, you should do this even if you don’t commute to work.
One of the most important things about working toward your goals is to find the time to do it. If you wait for the perfect moment, it may never happen. So why not start today?