3 Language Learning Tools You Can Fit into Your Pocket

Diving into something unfamiliar, like learning a new language, means finding resources to overcome the situation. These resources are typically money, time, and motivation. However, for busy individuals language learning can be quite dreary.

Investing in something valuable to your language growth is always a good idea. It is even better if it can fit into your pocket.

1. Keep a pocket dictionary

Learn one word a day. Keep a pocket dictionary with you at all times. When you’re in a line, waiting for elevator, or cooking your breakfast, it won’t hurt to crack open a few pages and memorize a word or an expression. Whether it’s print or an app, your dictionary should also feature the pronunciation, word type, and notes on how to use the word. You can also find dictionaries with a grammar and verb sections.

2. Listen to target language music

Use your smartphone for listening to music of your target language. Download songs in or find them on your streaming service. Several scientific findings support the role of music in helping the brain process millions of pieces of information everyday. 

3. Use social media with a purpose

Keep your iPad or phone with you. But take a break from social media and instead:

  1. find out more about language learning software – learn through interactive games, audio lessons, word tools, or practice with exercises
  2. read language-oriented blogs – discover techniques, trends, and other ways to be better at a particular language
  3. join language learning exchange groups – practice what you’ve learned so far by sharing your thoughts, ask for advice, or participate in their offline activities.

You can also start your own blog about your experiences and lessons while you are just attempting to learn a foreign language. You might also want to refrain from announcing to the Twitter world that you are bored, and just Tweet about a new foreign word or phrase you’ve learned. You might even gain new followers from a different country and find yourself exchanging “hello’s” with them in their language. Isn’t that cool? 

As long as you have the determination, you have the eyes to spot opportunities anywhere for learning, whether they are a mile away or just inside your pocket.



Laurianne Sumerset is an avid traveler who loves learning languages. She’s currently based in Thailand, where she works as an English teacher while studying for a PhD in Linguistics at Chulonglakorn University. In her spare time she reviews online language courses and software for her website, languagesoftware.net. You can read her review of the Living Language Online courses here