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University Language Services


How to Stay Fluent in Another Language During School Breaks


Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

If you are one of the lucky few with fluency in more than one language, you should do what you can to keep your language skills fresh. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it!

While on break from college, check out these tips on how to stay fluent until you return to school.

Make Use of Technology

You will likely be on your phone or computer at some point during break (or practically all of it), so it should be easy to download apps that will help you stay fluent. Just check the app store you use to look for language apps for students that you can use in your free time.

If you are going to be browsing the web during your break from school, you should also check out websites in the language you want to keep studying. You can try reading online newspapers in a foreign language or skimming online dictionaries. You might even learn some new words that you can use once you return to school after break.

You can also look online for language groups in your area. Plenty of people are looking for speakers of another language — you can teach your native language while practicing a second one!

Use What You Have

Another easy way to stay fluent is to simply review what you have already worked on in your college language program. If you have essays, quizzes, or long research papers you have written throughout the semester, take another look at them. As you read, you might even notice some mistakes you didn’t see before, helping you understand your grade better.

If you have textbooks in the language you have been studying, consider going through them during break. This can help you cement concepts you might be a little shaky on. If you are already an expert on everything the professor has taught so far, consider reading ahead so you are extra prepared for the next semester.

Make It Fun

If you’re like many students, the last thing you want to do during your summer, spring or winter break from college is study when you don’t have to. If your goal is to keep your free time fun, you can do so while still maintaining your language fluency.

If you have access to television shows or movies in the language in which you want to stay fluent, make some time to watch them over break. This will help you stay used to the sounds of the language and practice your listening skills instead of just writing and reading.

If you need to practice reading a language, consider turning on subtitles on the movie or show of your choice. You can also pick up a magazine or book in that language if you want to stay fluent over break.

Of course, if you have the opportunity to study abroad during school break, you should have no problem staying fluent in the language you are studying! Studying abroad is a proven way to improve foreign language fluency. Whether you study abroad for summer break or an entire semester, or simply visit another country for a few weeks, immersing yourself in the language is a great way to maintain your fluency.

What language(s) are you fluent in? Do you have any of your own tips on how to stay fluent over school break?



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