I Finished my Language Class, Now What?

Often, when I tell someone new that I am a language learner or enjoy learning languages in my free time, I get this response: “I learned (insert language) in high school/college, but I haven’t used it since” or “...but now I forget it all.” Why is this so common?

girl sitting in classroom, leaning on open book, looking to the side, wondering how to keep learning languages

One major reason why this happens is because of the way the school curriculum is set up to teach languages, but that could be a whole different blog post. The second reason is because most people don’t use their new language once their class is over.

Picture this:

You just finished your second year of French class. You know that you have the ability to put together sentences and have decent grammar, but you’ve never used the language outside the comfort zone of your class before. Are you just supposed to go to the neighborhood French bakery and start speaking to people? Do you need to book a trip to France in order to practice? This just doesn’t seem feasible or like the right solution.

So what do you do?

My best recommendation for this point is to USE your new language. But how? Here are several ideas.