Summer’s here, the sun is shining big and bright, and we can’t blame you if that means you want to ditch all responsibilities and head straight for the beach to occupy your favorite lounge chair and dig your toes in the sand. But while you’re having daydreams of dozing off by the seashore or dunking in the pool, have you considered diving headfirst into language studies? That’s right — summer is the best season to learn a language!
If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time of year to pick up a new tongue, there are plenty of reasons why you should start this season. So keep reading to find out why you should embrace your language-learning potential this summer.
A Couple Reasons Why Summer Is The Best Season To Learn A Language
1. You (Probably) Have More Time On Your Hands
If you’re a student, summer represents sweet, sweet freedom; chances are you won’t be locked into the daily grind of school, studying and stress from those pesky exams and professors. You might scoff at the idea of learning during your time off, but if you’ve always wanted a little extra time in the year to pick up a new skill outside of your regularly scholarly pursuits, well, ’tis the season. Plus, learning a new language doesn’t have to be purely academic; it can be incredibly fun if you put it to use in the right context (more on that below).
Even if you’re “adulting” and working a full-time job, summer brings the longest daylight hours of the year, which means you can get more done before the sunsets and you lose the momentum and energy you’ve built up throughout the day. More time for activities!
Another reason summer is the best season to learn a language is because a lot of language learning can be done while you’re doing other summer activities. If you’re exploring new parts of your city after work or enjoying the summer sun at the park, the beach, the mountains or on just your back porch, having an app (like Babbel!) in your back pocket makes multitasking a breeze.
2. A Summer Vacation Is Prime-Time For Practicing Your Skills
Learning? On vacation?! Inconceivable! Okay, so we admit that maybe the thought of lugging huge language textbooks through airport security isn’t anybody’s idea of a carefree getaway, but language learning doesn’t have to be clunky and cumbersome. Language learning apps make it easy to take your practice on the go so you don’t have to panic when you’re packing.
A vacation is a great way to practice vocab you wouldn’t otherwise need to use in your regular routine. For example, if you’re from a landlocked region and are heading to the coast for an ocean vacation, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn translations for concepts and things you don’t interact with all the time like sand, crabs and sailboats. And while you’re at it, you can practice more complicated sentence structures by learning how to say things like “I want to go surfing,” “Slow down! I’m seasick,” and “Can you rub sunscreen on my back?”
And don’t forget that vacations are ideal because you can tailor your destinations to the languages you’re learning to get the most immersive experience. After all, isn’t the goal of language learning to have real-life conversations with native speakers? If you’re learning Spanish, choosing a Spanish-speaking destination like South America or Spain is a great way to put your language skills to the test. If you’re practicing Portuguese, put yourself in Lisbon or São Paulo (or choose any of the other Portuguese-speaking countries). And what Italian learner wouldn’t want to escape to the picturesque villages of Cinque Terre?
3. Weather, Weather, Weather
You might not have thought about it before, but when it comes to why summer is the best season to learn a language, a lot of it has to do with the weather.
Most of us can agree that (excluding the occasional thunderstorm) summer weather is some of the best there is. All that extra light and warmth is enough to instill new life in you and make you want to spend time outdoors, appreciating the wonders of the world’s natural beauty — a direct contrast to those dreary and gloomy winter hibernation spells. You know, the ones where you want to curl up under a blanket and snooze while the snow has you barricaded inside.
If you’re the type who is invigorated by summer weather, let it work in your favor. Natural light is widely considered to boost productivity, mood, mental health and overall wellbeing. So with all that summer daylight, you’re sure to be operating at optimal capacity when it comes to your mind and its ability to process information. Why not take advantage of all that advanced brain function to get the most out of learning a new language?