It’s no surprise that, here at SPI, we’re some pretty hardcore language nerds (we’re talking reading Proust in the French just for kicks and consuming telenovelas at the rate that other people watch Game of Thrones– it gets that nerdy around here!). Our intense love of foreign language learning stems from many sources — most of which involve our own personal study abroad experiences and travels. And so we know all too well that, no matter how much you love learning second languages, it can really be difficult to maintain your foreign language of choice after you’ve returned home from an abroad experience.
One of the best, and most fun, ways to stay fresh is by reading blogs that are in your target language. Blogs are excellent sources of culture and colloquialisms that you probably won’t get from a textbook, so if you really want to keep up your language learning post-study abroad, blogs are a great way to go!
Don’t know where to start? Check out SPI’s list of our personal favorites:
French-Word-a-Day: daily vocab lessons, snippets of real life in France, and spot-on cultural and language insights all make for an awesome, informative, and fun read.
Garance Doré: if you’re at all a Francophile/fashion aficionado/art fan and haven’t discovered Garance, you’re in for a serious treat! This blog is a favorite among stylish French study abroad students for a reason.
Spanish Obsessed: this blog is chock full of awesome Spanish language podcasts designed to help learners of all levels get better acquainted with the ins and outs of the language and Latin American culture — good stuff!
Authentic Spanish Language and Pedagogy: this is a wonderfully well-rounded blog that has a plethora of great language learning tools and resources.
Nobody Knows Anybody: though not in Spanish, this is a really great blog for those interested in the fabuloso world of Spanish cinema!
Learn Italian with Lucrezia: as Lucrezia (a 21-year old student from Rome) herself says, the goal of her blog is to “let people discover the beauty of Italian language and also culture and lifestyle” — this is a fabulous and fun blog for anyone interested in all things Italian.
And for other methods of maintaining your second language when you’re not abroad, see what SPI staff members have to say:
“I really enjoy listening to music in Spanish and French. It’s a great way to build my vocab, especially colloquial language that is really useful but not always taught in a classroom.” — Carrie Straub, Admissions Director
“Whether it be streaming your favorite radio station from Europe, getting into a new telenovela, or reading your news on elpais.es, it is important to consume media in your target language. It is a great way to build vocabulary and provides insight into different cultures both abroad and in the United States.” — John Foster, Program Director
“I’m a hopeless French cinema fan! I’ve found that watching films (ideally with both English and French subtitles) is the best way to get a feel for how people really speak — becoming comfortable with the natural speed and cadences of words and phrases is key when learning a language.” — Justine Harrington, Program Advisor