One of the biggest mistakes is to believe lingo acquisition is just about regular lesson attendance (these can give you input, insight or structure) and not properly immersing oneself in the culture and the language.
It is very difficult unless you are a natural lingo learner or have really absorbed yourself in lingo learning to know what you can do to help learn it quicker and more in depth.
I am going to start by giving you a bit of a glimpse into my own learning of German. Here are two things I have persisted with and still do today, and are connected with lifestyle choices and hobbies:
Firstly not to be to proud of the medium you use to assist your learning. I have become a fan of the Mosaik comics, and to this day read about the time traveling adventures of Abrax, Brabax and Califax. The lingo is understandable, but with the older publications (pre-dating 1975) when the characters were known as Dig, Dag and Digedag, they are also a challenge because of the antiquated lingo usage. Being an avid fan of history, despite having a terrible secondary school teacher, the pique of interest is already there.
Likewise I am a reader of news, English during the week. And German at the weekend; this replaces the tradition of reading the Saturday and Sunday papers when I was in England.
Here are 5 activities to consider:
1) Find a group of speakers who you can get to know face to face, or online.
A useful community is:
An Ex-Pat community that is glocal, global online, and local offline.
Or likewise find a suitable facebook interest group.
2) Expose yourself to different audio sources. Audio books are available from many sources including Amazon.
But a lesser well known source is:
3) Find a magazine, blog, or news source that interests you, in order to broaden your vocabulary and knowledge of current affairs in your lingo of choice.
A more unusual source is:
4) When your are at a lower level, find comics or children’s literature to read, instead of being too ambitious and diving into a text connected with your studies or career. Some favs of mine are the Avengers, X-men, Batman, Aesops Fables, C.S. Lewis or Roald Dahls children’s literature. And also if you like graphic novels then the Sandman Series, the Watchman, V for Vendetta and anything by Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman for that matter.
5) Change a software or computer game into the lingo you choose to learn. The Operating System I have found is to ambitious even as an Apple and Ubuntu user. But that could be just a geek familiarity thing.
What are your top tips for immersion activities?
What have you found successful in your lingo learning for exposing you to new sources?