If you’re wondering how to learn a language fast and fluently, exercise could be one of your secret weapons. You probably know that working out is one of the most important activities you can do to take care of yourself. This is because exercise can help fight against a lot of diseases, including heart disease and cancer. It can also be a great way to take care of your mental health because it works as a mood-enhancer. But, exercise isn’t just great for you; it can also be great for learning a new languages. One study found that exercise could be a principal component to language learning, whether you’re learning Spanish, French, or another language.
For years many scientists have been sharing the power of exercise when it comes to learning. One study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that tai chi showed the potential to enhance cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, and verbal reasoning in older adults. The benefits don’t just stop with older adults either. A report from the Institute of Medicine showed that students consistently performed better on tests when they were physically active during the day.
So it wasn’t a huge surprise when researchers in China and Italy found that exercise helped improve foreign-language vocabulary retention in adults. During the study, the researchers divided the participants into two groups. One group of language-learners learned English while seated in rote vocabulary-memorization sessions. In contrast, the other group rode exercise bikes at a gentle pace beginning 20 minutes before starting the lessons and continuing throughout the 15 minutes of instruction. By the end of each class, the students who had ridden bikes performed better on post-lesson vocabulary tests than those who sat still.
So if you’re looking for good ways to learn foreign-language vocabulary, slip on your tennis shoes, and let’s run through three ways you can work exercise into your language routine!
1. Get moving during your Rosetta Stone lessons with Audio Companion® lessons and Seek & Speak.
The great thing about learning a new language with Rosetta Stone is that with the Rosetta Stone app, language learning can be taken on the go. There are two excellent features in the app that are perfect for taking on a brisk walk. You can train your ear with our Audio Companion® lessons, where you can conveniently listen and learn offline with downloadable lessons. These could be great for a walk to the grocery store or even a 15-minute stroll around your neighborhood. Just know that Audio Companion® has an important visual component. It’s passive learning from a speaking perspective, but it does require some visual attention to get the most out of it. As long as you’re watching while you’re going, you should be okay.
Rosetta Stone’s Seek & Speak, a learning game where learners can use their camera to turn everyday objects into language practice, is also great to get those legs moving. Once you have the Rosetta Stone app, all you need to do is head to the Extended Learning section. From there, you can choose a challenge like “Produce Aisle” where you’ll be prompted to find and photograph five items you could possibly find in the produce aisle. If you see something, the app will snap a picture and tell you the word in your target language. You can take your app to the farmer’s market or school supply shopping, and you’ll be able to learn some new vocabulary, all while getting some extra steps in.
2. Schedule movement breaks into your learning.
When you learn with Rosetta Stone, you’ll find many easily digestible lessons, and sometimes it’s easy to lose yourself in doing too many in a row. If you’re anything like me, 30 minutes will fly by without me even noticing. Our lessons are broken down into 10-minute segments, so before you start, you should try to decide how many lessons you’ll do before taking a break. It could be a good idea to do some jumping jacks before you begin, complete two 10-minute lessons, and then stay active with another quick workout like squats or power walking. You can also try some desk exercises so that you won’t even have to leave your workspace!
3. Stay active with some self-recorded vocabulary lessons.
If you have a list of vocabulary you’re trying to remember, try exchanging music for the sound of your own voice. Record yourself going through some foreign-language vocabulary and the English translation to learn as you workout. By recording your vocabulary, you’ll also get an excellent pronunciation exercise. If you’re looking for some entertainment, you can try listening to a foreign-language podcast, or if you can’t survive your workout without some good music, you can check out this foreign-language playlist on Spotify. If you haven’t discovered the Rosetta Stone Stories feature in the app yet, you can read stories aloud to have your pronunciation checked by the speech-recognition engine.
So get out there, get your heart pumping, and you’ll be on your way to fluency in no time!