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Start with Magazines Magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper s Bazaar or pretty much any local gloss y cover that looks like it contains the things that might capture your attention are perfect tools to help you expand your vocabulary! And the best thing about them is that you don t even have to be able to form a sentence or read a single ar ticle you ve got the photo, you ve got the description right under it and you even g et to learn the words that don t pop up in the conversation that often. It doesn t s ound like much at first, especially if you re trying to find ideas on how to impro ve foreign language skills to the max but, trust me, all those words will come h andy at some point and probably sooner than you expected! 2. Say Yes to Subtitles

Okay, so let s say you re like really, really good but you want to be even better! L ike, learn a proper way to spell things without having to channel Bart Simpson i n detention and work your pencil into a stub? Well, improving foreign language s kills doesn t have to be a bore! Don t kill the subtitle, change it to the language you re hoping to become more proficient at! You re going to have just as much fun wa tching the movie with the only difference being the fact that your brain is now actively participating as well, storing images of the words you see on the scree n (as well as the correct order of letters in each one of them) into your memory . 3. Listen to Music Listening to music you like is always a great and easy way to learn a foreign la nguage! And don t worry you don t have to love the traditional local beats to enjoy this fun learning strategy! Every country has its own rock, rap, metal and pop s cene which, of course, allows you to lose yourself in a beat you enjoy and the w ords you barely understand to a point when you really have to Google the lyrics, read them carefully a few times and even dig up a translation of all the parts you can t quite figure out. You can couple this with conventional lessons, listeni ng to, for example, French music if you re learning French, Spanish if you re learni ng Spanish and so on. 4. Talk

Exercising everything you ve learned or picked up is absolutely necessary! It s emba rrassing as hell and, before you go all no way, not me, let me tell you that I ve be en though the whole laughing-stock experience too. I mean seriously, who d think ja il and kiss sound so much alike in Greek! Or yoghurt and celebration ! It s not that bi f a deal and hey, even locals make mistakes, so relax and start talking! The mor e you talk, the better your pronunciation will get and that s all that matters. 5. Read Books It s what I do and, quite honestly, it works like a charm! When you have to use on e language to do the Hi-how-are-y alls with family back home, a second one to talk to your husband and the third one to do your job all in the same 24 hours, your brain is bound to start hiccuping here and there. And books not only work like a charm when it comes to clearing out mental versions of the program-is-busy-ornot-responding-close-the-window-and-try-again but help master one language like no classes ever could. You don t only get to learn a bunch of new words as well as ways to use them in a sentence but gain unlimited access to various dialects as well as humor, punch-lines and sarcasm. It s the final step in improving foreign

language skills because it allows you to stop thinking in your mother tongue and open up a brand new folder in which all of these words and rules you know fit i n as naturally as you always had a feeling they should. It s a struggle and it nev er really ends but it s fun as heck too, and doesn t feel like a chore! 6. Ask Questions

Still wondering how to become better? Well, let me just say that this is probabl y one of those rare occasions in which being super inquisitive really pays out. If you happen to live in a country whose language you re trying to learn, get to v isit it a lot or have at least a few friends who speak the language even better! And trust me, when it comes to the list of things you can point your finger at a nd ask anything from What s that? to What does it say? , endless is probably the only te m that even begins to cover it. 7. Listen Carefully When in Rome well, if you can t do what Romans do, you can at least do your best to understand what are they saying. And, trust me, shutting down is the worst thin g you could do, even if it all sounds like incomprehensible gibberish. My husban d does that and well, let me just say that his knowledge of my mother tongue has b een and has stayed alarmingly limited to just a few short phrases. It s going to b e super-boring at first, especially if you don t know the language all that well, but there is a bright light in the end of the tunnel and it s going to get much br ighter and much closer very soon! Ask questions whenever you re not sure about som ething (whether it s a phrase, a word or the meaning), listen carefully to test ev erything you ve learned so far and do your best to memorize as many new words and phrases as possible.