… to indulge yourself in during the Christmas holidays.
Christmas makes me feel all warm inside, with thoughts of hot chocolates, fluffy blankets and lots of quality me-time.
It’s the best time to stay in, while it’s cold and dark outside, and spoil myself a bit. Which means lots of time to be creative with language learning. Because when we’re done wrapping up presents, it’s time to give a little something to ourselves, too.
Today I am going to share with you 25 cosy, comfortable, stay-at-home language learning activities that introverts will definitely love.
1. Write your presents list in your target language
This way you’ll learn some words that are relevant to you at the moment. If you catch up with your language partner after the holidays, you already know how to say what you received – or what you wanted but you didn’t get…
2. Cook a Christmas meal with a recipe in your target language
You can use the recipe for a meal from your country or a dish that is common in most places. You can bake your own bread, a yummy cake, or prepare a healthy salad. If you’re adventurous you can cook a traditional dish from the country where your target language is spoken.
3. Sing a Christmas song in your target language
You’ll probably feel a bit silly, but we like silly. Singing a famous Christmas carol will be easy because you’re already familiar with the melody.
4. Discover music in your target language
Go on a Spotify or YouTube discovery spree. Google the name of the language you’re studying + a genre you love. Or why not, start listening to a whole new genre.
5. Read the translation of a book you love in your target language
Think of an old favourite, a book you’ve read so many times you know all that’s happening, page by page. Reading it in your target language is going to help you pick up new vocabulary without effort. And even if you’re not likely to use Quidditch vocabulary in your daily life, you’ll get plenty of fun anyway.
6. Watch a movie in your target language
Better if it’s a famous one that most people have watched: you get extra culture points. Head over to IMDB and look for the best-rated or recently released movies in your target language, or explore the new titles on Netflix.
7. Watch a Disney movie or a Christmas classic translated into your target language
As for the translation of a favourite book, this is another way to pick up some vocabulary with little effort. I bet you have a movie you watched so many times you know it by heart. That’s a perfect choice! It’s going to be weird to watch it in another language, but learning your favourite monologue in your target language? Priceless.
8. Write a diary entry for the year ending or a list of things you are grateful for
Do some of your yearly reflection in the language you’re learning. According to your level, give yourself some writing prompts and write in your diary what happened to you this year, how you feel about it, what you wish for the new year.
9. Do grammar exercises
Grammar geek friend, you’re welcome here. Doing grammar exercises is a wonderful way to unwind during the holidays. You can focus on practising a new rule and leave the world and its noise outside – if you ask me, it’s one of the small pleasures of life.
10. Write a poem or a tale in your target language
Get creative, experiment with words, try to train your imagination to work in your target language, too. Don’t worry too much about grammar, here. I know, it’s hard, but for this task, you should let go of your perfectionism. You’re allowed to take some poetic licence.
11. Send Christmas wishes to friends speaking your target language or a conversation partner
Taking care of your meaningful connections is a priority. Send a thought to your friends speaking a different language, just send a text message or you can even draw a pretty card. The most important thing is for you to nurture your relationships.
12. Teach a few words in your target language to your family and friends
During the celebrations, you might have the chance to talk to your loved ones about the language or languages you’re learning. Try to arouse their curiosity and teach them a few words, a sentence or a little-known fact. Don’t overdo it, though!
13. Do a web search about the Christmas traditions of a country where your target language is spoken
Do it in your target language, obviously! Learn about the traditional Christmas dish of the country or a special way to celebrate in a city you’ve visited.
14. Learn something new
It can be a fun fact about the language you are learning or you can read something about a topic you’re passionate about, in your target language. Read a page on Wikipedia or an article from a newspaper or a magazine.
15. Colour-code your notebook and sort your notes
Oh, how I like it when things are tidy and organised. If you’ve been piling up notes over notes, use some time during the holidays to sort them. Divide vocabulary, grammar, idioms and use a colour-code to separate different topics. It will make it easier to review, later.
16. Scroll through Pinterest or Tumblr for learning inspiration
Careful with these, it’s easy to waste a whole afternoon there. Set an alarm after 30 minutes, just in case. Then dive in among pretty pictures, untranslatable words and learning inspiration.
17. Look for #merrychristmas or #christmas hashtags in your target language on Twitter or Instagram
You’ll get a tiny peek into Christmas celebrations, preparations and fun times in the country where your target language is spoken. You can learn some colloquial expression and, if you’re brave enough, you can join the conversation and post something using the hashtags yourself.
18. Follow a tutorial on YouTube in your target language
That time between Christmas and New Year is when you start learning something you always wanted to but never did. True, it might not last long, but at least you can take a couple of sewing tutorials in the language you’re learning and hit two birds with one stone.
19. Take an online course
It can be a course about the language or a course held in your target language, up to you. There is plenty of choice on websites like Open Culture, Coursera, Future Learn or Udemy. Be careful not to be overwhelmed by the number of things you can learn!
20. Listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube video and write down new words and grammar structures
Podcasts and YouTube videos are good for times when you don’t want to focus too much, but if you have some time try to actively listen to new vocabulary, grammar and expressions. If you notice them and write them in your notebook, listening to the episode again later will reinforce your knowledge.
21. Meditate or do yoga
Meditation and yoga are wonderful ways to take care of yourself and become more mindful. I’ve recently started following the channel Yoga with Adriane and I can already feel the benefits of a regular yoga practice. You can look for guided yoga or meditation practice in the language you’re learning.
22. Write a list
Is it just me, or writing a list is an extremely satisfying activity? It can simply be a list of things to do, or places you want to go, but also the things that make you smile and feel good. You guessed it: write the list in your target language.
23. Study with an app
But make sure you don’t spend too much time on them! They are ideal for short breaks or little study sessions. So if you don’t have many hours to practice between meals with your family and Christmas parties, you can dedicate a few minutes to learning anyway.
24. Take a lesson online
I am a very big fan of learning online – as an introvert, it has been quite a revolution for me. Many teachers might be on holiday, but you can at least start looking for a tutor you feel like you can trust and book a lesson for January.
25. Daydream in your target language
Are you a member of the overthinkers’ club, too? Then do it in your target language. This can also be a little remedy to the crazy amount of thinking you do sometimes. It will take more of an effort to do it in a different language, so you’ll be able to slow it down a bit.
And because I want to thank you for being around and reading until the end, I am adding a special present: a language lover’s playlist. It’s a Spotify playlist of 90 songs in 36 languages, selected from different genres and artists. I wanted to give you some inspiration, so there are no big radio hits and no songs in English (those are way too easy to find). Enjoy it and let me know what you think!
Are you going to try any of these activities? Have you scheduled any special language learning plan for the holidays? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
I wish you a lovely festive season, with plenty of meaningful connections and enough me-time!
Looking for ways to keep language learning in your life even on those days when anxiety won’t let go of you? Join this free 4-day email course and let’s discover together how to do just that.