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Language hacking your commute

Whether you’re a student walking across campus or a working professional packed into a subway car like a sardine, it can often seem like an impossible task to find the extra time to harness your language skills. In order to balance life’s obligations with your language study, you have to think outside of the box and find language hacks that work for you.

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While commuting, one of the more practical aspects of language study that you can work on is listening comprehension. There are a number of language podcasts and radio programs you can download; however, I’ve found that these are often limited in subject matter, published inconsistently, and too long to hold my attention when I’m caught up in the craziness that characterizes commuting in DC.

Enter YouTube Red, which allows you to listen to videos saved on your playlists offline. YouTube Red is a subscription-based service, but it does offer a fairly generous trial period during which time you can test out this method and see if it’s worth the cost. Almost all Foreigncy Arabic, Hebrew, and Russian lessons prepare you to listen and watch a foreign language video published on YouTube. These videos cover a wide range of topics and are in short digestible segments. By saving these videos to your YouTube Red playlists, you add a killer tool to your language arsenal. More importantly, you can shuffle the videos and cycle them through the week. This means that you’ll listen to new and old videos, introducing you to new vocabulary and reinforcing the old.

After a couple of weeks of using this method consistently, I can say that YouTube Red is a fantastic way to language hack your commute. It without a doubt reinforces my Arabic and Hebrew vocabulary, easing my ability to find words during actual conversations. I encourage you to try out this method, see if it works for you, and leave a comment.

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