Language learning without the use of a textbook
We are all aware that practical exercises using textbooks and classroom materials are valuable when it comes to language learning. However, I realised early on in my language learning journey that the only way to keep up my motivation for language learning was to make sure it was accessible and fun. To do this I found enjoyable ways of integrating language learning into my everyday life. Here are a few of them:
Change the language of all your electronics to your target language.
This is an easy one. By simply changing the language of your mobile phone you are exposed to many different words and phrases in your target language, many of which will be easily added to your vocabulary. Most of us navigate our way around our phone without a second thought anyway, so this should be a simple way to learn more without having to try too hard.
Listen to music.
This seems like an obvious one, and is probably one that you already do. However, when I say listening, I mean actively listening. If you want to be more productive, you can find lyrics online and write them down in order to learn them off by heart. Even if you need to pause the song and search for words and phrases you don't understand, this will only aid you in your learning. Listening to music will not only help with vocabulary but also with grammar as you will begin to notice patterns, especially as many songs tend to be repetitive.
Read short stories designed for your language level.
Even if reading isn't your favourite pastime, short stories are good in that you can read them in one sitting and feel as though you have accomplished something. For those of you who are ready to move on to a more advanced level, you could even try to find books you have already read in your mother tongue, since as you already know the storyline you shouldn't get too lost. You could also get the audiobook to accompany your reading: this way you have more than one input and can improve your listening skills at the same time.