I don't like to do a lot of work when I'm learning a language — it requires too much time and effort, and it burns you out quickly. One thing that eats up a lot of time and feels like a lot of work is clicking around on a dozen web sites every day.
I find literally dozens of useful web sites when I first start learning a new language: vocab sites, dictionaries, videos, and much more, but in truth, I only visit a handful of sites regularly. In fact, only LiveMocha (once per day) and WordReference (as needed) get daily traffic from me.
Introducing Google Reader
For the rest, I like to make the sites come to me. It's so much easier this way. If you're not familiar with Google Reader, it's an RSS reader. RSS is a syndication standard used on the majority of modern web sites (especially blogs) which allows you to view their content without visiting their site.
Once you have a Google Reader account, you can just copy the link any time you see that nifty orange icon, like the one on the top-right corner of this web page, and then paste it into Google Reader as a new feed.
Now, whenever I get the inclination — whether it's once per day, or once per week — I can flip through the feeds in my Google Reader confident that I haven't missed anything on any of the sites to which I am subscribed.
Use it for language learning
So now, just find language resources with RSS feeds.
The BBC Langauges web site is an excellent language learning resource for several language, but if you're learning French, German, Spanish, or Italian, it also offers a word-of-the-day, to which you can subscribe by RSS.
Transparent Language also offers blogs in several languages, with regular updates available by RSS updates. I found their Russian blog quite handy last year, and this year I'm keeping it and I've added their Italian blog!
If you click around just a bit on the Transparent Language, you'll also find a word of the day feed to which you can subscribe.
Fluent In 3 Months, of course, is the site that motivated me to start this blog, and if you think I'm crazy for learning one language every year, you'll love following along with Benny, who takes on a mission of fluency in only three months! It's hard not to find that motivational!
Of course, you shouldn't forget to subscribe to my feed!
And never forget our old friend Google. Just search for "word of the day" and the language you are learning. One never knows what interesting blogs will turn up!
Did you find something else useful that isn't mentioned here? Leave a comment!
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