woman looking at the screen and writing in her notebook

8 Ways to Get Daily Language Practice

Taking the time to practice every day will work wonders for your progress.

Still trying to figure out how to practice a language daily? The eight activities in this post take under 10 minutes and are great for slipping in some daily language practice even on the busiest of days. 


1. Play a language learning game

language learning game

Learning a language should be fun. There are so many language learning games out there these days, from burrito builders (for Spanish learners—one of my personal favorites) to good old fashioned pairs. Take five minutes or so to complete a level or run through one round of questions.

Remember to choose a game that you can actually practice and learn from. There’s no point in playing something that’s easy, just so you can win—trust me, I’ve made this mistake.

As well as playing games, you can also have a quick run through of a language learning app. Many of these are laid out into levels and sections and presented in bite-sized chunks, usually taking the same amount of time as it takes a kettle to boil. 

Top tip: You can even change your non-language learning games into language learning games simply by changing the language setting. That means all your favorite games on your phone or your computer now double up as a tool for learning–how great is that?

2. Read a newspaper in your target language

Read a newspaper

You can learn many things from reading a newspaper, from serious situations taking place around the world to less serious things like who was the best-dressed at the Oscars.

You can also learn and practice a language by reading a newspaper.

It can be hard to buy a newspaper in your target language if you’re not in a native-speaking country, but that’s where the beauty of the internet comes in. Simply search for “Newspapers + your target language” in Google and your world will immediately be blown wide open.

If you don’t want to spend time searching, here are some great guides we’ve put together with tons of resources for using the news to learn these target languages:

Reading the news in your target language means you can learn about serious situations around the world and brush up on your language learning.

You can choose which section of the newspaper to get stuck into, so it’ll hopefully be something you’re interested in. 

Top tip: Newspapers tend to use really simple language, but remember to write down any words and phrases you’re not sure about so you can check them out later.

3. Listen to a podcast for language learning 

Listen to a podcast

Podcasts are a great way to get used to the sound of your target language, to pick up on intonation, and to begin to improve your listening comprehension.

They’re also a great way to fill the small pockets of time that occur in your daily schedule. Getting the bus somewhere? Need to walk somewhere? Waiting for your coffee to brew? Whack on a podcast.

Not sure which podcasts are worth your time? No worries! We’ve already gone through and found the best for you in these target languages:

You can also check out some great online reviews and breakdowns of the top language learning podcasts. This process will narrow down your selection and save you plenty of time scrolling through endless podcast titles.

In the video below, you’ll encounter the top podcasts for language learning as well as exactly what they can do for you!

Using online breakdowns, reviews and recommendations are some of the best ways to encounter quality native learning resources.

Top tip: Lots of language learning podcasts have a transcript and tasks to go alongside them. Notes in Spanish, for example, provides worksheets for every episode. This is the perfect way to delve a little deeper into the practice and create a multisensory learning experience.

4. Write a blurb about your day in your target language

Write a blurb

Finding the time to write anything during the day, let alone in your target language, is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. But if you think about it as if you’re writing a to-do list, then it’ll seem like a much easier task.

While you’re waiting in line in a shop or waiting for something to print, grab a post-it note, or open up a “notes” app on your phone if you have one, and jot down a few words about your day.

Simple sentences are fine, just like if you were writing a to-do list or, if you have more time and a lot to write, feel free to crank out a full-page essay on what you’ve had for lunch or how late your bus was that morning.

This limbers up your writing skills in your target language and encourages you to think about simple things and actions in the foreign language. Plus, you can always look back over it the next day to practice further and remind yourself what you did.

5. Run through some flashcards to test your memory 

Run through some flashcards

Whenever you learn a new word, make sure you write it down on a flashcard along with a description that you’ll understand and remember.

Make it as quirky as you want. Use colors and images if you need to.

While you’re waiting for your coffee to brew or your lunch to heat up in the microwave, run through a few of these flashcards and test your memory.

Top tip: Keep flashcards grouped in batches that focus on a particular topic. You’ll be able to create connections through similar words and phrases and are more likely to remember where and when you practiced what topic using the theory of set and setting.

6. Flick through a dictionary to practice new vocabulary

Flick through a dictionary

Flicking through a dictionary is so underrated. Think of all those words!

The thing to remember here is to not fill your head with obscure words that you’re never going to use. Instead, flick through to words you learned in last night’s lesson or turn to phrases you’ve been wondering about for ages.

It’s easy to get sucked into dictionary browsing, so perhaps write down a list of words you’d like to practice and learn the meaning of beforehand so you have some focus.

Top tip: After you’ve nailed a word and its meaning, create a couple of sentences using it to retain the information–maybe even write it down on a flashcard.

7. Start a language practice group with colleagues or friends

Start a language practice group with colleagues

Starting an impromptu class by the coffee-machine or water cooler isn’t easy if there’s no one in your office who is learning the same language as you.

But, if there are, make good use of them!

Plan to meet at a certain point throughout the day for 10 minutes and commit yourselves to only speaking in your target language during that time.

You can take this one step further, too, and test each other with flashcards, challenge each other to two-player language learning games, or discuss a podcast you’d all planned to listen to the night before.

Daily language practice is so much easier when you have other people to motivate you and you’ll be able to share ideas and bounce questions off of each other.

Top tip: Set a task for each meeting so that there’s some kind of focus and you’re not tempted to simply chat about work stuff.

8. Watch commercials in your target language

Watch commercials

Watching commercials is a great way to pick up a language because they offer lots of repetition and keywords.

All you have to do is search for “commercials” or “ads” in your target language in YouTube and you’ll be inundated with pages and pages of them.

If you’d like to learn with commercials more efficiently, you can also try using the ones on FluentU. One video and some flashcard reviews per day are one good way to get that daily practice in.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

FluentU Ad

Top Tip: If you’re trying to learn a certain set of vocabulary, choose commercials that match it. For example, if you’re looking to learn words relating to cars, select car commercials, or if you want to understand more words related to cleaning, choose cleaning ads—simple! 


How about it? Think you have a spare 10 minutes free every day? Not anymore! I challenge you to choose at least three of these activities and incorporate them into your coffee break (or while you’re waiting for the bus, or while you’re waiting in line at a store) in the coming week.

I bet you’ll be surprised at how well short, sharp bursts of daily language practice work for you!

And One More Thing...

If you dig the idea of learning on your own time from the comfort of your smart device with real-life authentic language content, you'll love using FluentU.

With FluentU, you'll learn real languages—as they're spoken by native speakers. FluentU has a wide variety of videos as you can see here:

FluentU has interactive captions that let you tap on any word to see an image, definition, audio and useful examples. Now native language content is within reach with interactive transcripts.

Didn't catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? Hover your mouse over the subtitles to instantly view definitions.

You can learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU's "learn mode." Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

And FluentU always keeps track of vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You get a truly personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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