First of all, welcome to my new domain! After some time without a stable computer, I decided to give my blog a full makeover, including a new address which is easy to spell: http://linguablog.org . My old address will still work as a personal portfolio site.
Now, moving on to a new blogpost… this small holiday from the blog made me think about different paid things that might be good to invest on for your language learning process and motivation. Most of these things aren’t the usual apps, objects or so that you might think of. They are not strictly language-related, but they are well worth the investment and you will probably enjoy them a lot. So, this is my list of them:
- Google Chromecast: I bought a Google Chromecast dongle about a year ago. Basically, this dongle is plugged on your TV and allows you to stream websites, videos and audio to your TV. With this dongle, I am thinking every day to drop my pay TV subscription. I can stream YouTube videos, Netflix, Radios from all over the world or even watch live foreign TV from my bedroom TV like if I were in someone’s couch at a country where the target language is spoken. You don’t have to have a computer in order to use it. You can operate it also from your mobile. In comparison to other dongles or Smart TV sets, it is quite affordable and worth an investment. It should cost around 35 USD and it is well worth tiy. Imagine falling asleep with a radio or a tv show in your target language, or watch one of those series that are available on YouTube or Dailymotion.
- Spotify Premium: Ever since Spotify arrived to Chile, I opted for a paid subscription which allows me to do different things. The first one is enjoying music with no repetitive ads about cheap beer or of a reggaeton album in the middle of working with loud rock. Then, you can handle your music directly from Spotify and listen to music from it without having an Internet connection 😀 . This means, if I subscribe to a list with music I like, for example, in Hungarian… I don’t have to have an Internet connection on my phone, tablet or computer in order to enjoy it. You can find plenty of themed playlists according to language, country, genre or even see what is being listened right now at a country of your choice. Also, if you find yourself listening to the radio and finding a song you like through Shazam/Soundcloud, you can add it immediately to your Spotify playlists. The price of a Spotify subscription strongly depends on your country, but it is very affordable for Latin American users. The other option is that you might want to consider is a Family account with friends/family and split bills.
- Online magazines on your tablet: One of my favourite things to buy when I go abroad is magazines. Chile doesn’t have a great magazine culture, so being able to find affordable, interesting and nice looking magazines in a target language is something I highly treasure and often bring them as souvenirs home. The problem is when you want more, the same magazine bores you over and over and there’s almost no way to get new copies. However, technology is there for a reason. For about 20 USD per year I get a magazine I enjoy in Polish due to its lifestyle approach, in order to practice reading comprehension under a different setting. Most of those magazines also tend to offer special gifts for online readers, such as being able to read past articles, free magazines from the same company about other subjects or special video interviews. You can look for your magazines or your App store and see which one suits best your needs and interests. I can say it’s well worth spending your money in one subscription, so you get something interesting to read every month.
These three things have really motivated me in order to be more acquainted with language and motivate myself to be an active consumer in my target language (as media consumption, that is). That has helped me in order to understand certain things better or even create more rapport with native speakers of my target languages.
Do you have any other recommendations? Do you spend your money on your language learning process? In what things do you spend it? Say them in the comments section 🙂