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13. Explore a foreign language magazine

If the offerings at your local library don't satisfy your thirst for exposure to foreign language media, there are other ways to access foreign language magazines. MIT Libraries lists newspapers and magazines for 8 different languages and provides links to online editions. There are innumerable foreign language magazines on specialty topics, from business to geography, from skiing to child-rearing. Here are some links to a variety of magazines in French and to several in German. You can search the web for foreign language magazines on specialty topics.

Alternatively, you could subscribe to your very own foreign magazine. Some magazines can be read online, but a print version offers unique advantages. You can find advertisements for familiar products but perhaps displayed in an unfamiliar way. You'll see advertisements for cultural products you've never seen before. Flipping through the print edition allows you to become acquainted with cultural peculiarities. Reading foreign language magazines in your field of interest is an excellent way to expand your ability to converse about something that you hold dear.

14. Locate heritage events in your area

Universities typically have international student clubs on campus that represent various ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Arab, Caribbean, Hindu, Iranian, Latino, Polish, Turkish, Ukrainian, and so many other student organizations abound on university campuses. Many such groups regularly organize campus events that raise awareness and appreciation of their respective cultures.

In addition, many communities have heritage groups beyond the university that preserve and teach others about the traditions of their homeland. Members are often immigrants or first-, second-, or third-generation descendants of immigrants. The groups usually meet on a regular basis. They plan and sponsor special events that honor folk traditions, such as regional dances and costumes, observe important holidays and celebrations, such as German Oktoberfest, Chinese and Iranian New Year, and region-specific Christmas customs. These groups sometimes arrange festivals and dinners, they offer language classes, and organize get-togethers of various kinds.

Both community and university heritage groups provide venues for establishing cultural contacts and practicing your language skills.

15. Listen to foreign language music

Ever have the experience of not remembering what you ate for breakfast, but being able to recall the lyrics of a song you last heard 10 years ago? Music is an excellent memory aid for language learners. Hearing and learning sung lyrics can improve vocabulary and pronunciation and can reinforce proper use of structures.

You can browse our compilations of German language music and Spanish language music, search for CDs of international music at or, or you can listen to live audio from international radio broadcasts. Mike's Radio World and Radio Locator list radio stations around the world with free streaming audio.

As you can see, there are ample opportunities to practice your language skills, and most are free. Take advantage of them and nurture your skills, and you will see your language proficiency grow.

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See also specific language pages for additional resources:
Arabic - French - German - Italian - Japanese - Spanish

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