If you’re starting to feel the stress of returning to the classroom after summer vacation, then you’re not alone! There’s still time to energize your brain so you can start school with confidence. In fact, you can retrain your brain and keep on playing at the same time. Here are 5 fun tips to get you in back-to-school shape!

Tip 1: Turn on the TV

TV shows, movies, documentaries, cartoons… whatever you most enjoy, turn it on in the language you're learning! This is a great way to reacquaint yourself with the sounds and rhythm of the language, and the visual cues will help jog your memory about what it all means, too. Observe the scenery, the way people interact, and the places they go to learn even more about the culture of the people who use the language. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything—that’s what subtitles are for! Before you know it, all that vocabulary stored deep in your brain will come back to life, and you’ll likely pick up some new words, too.

Tip 2: Pick up a book

Reading really is good for you, especially when it comes to learning new languages. Summer is a great time to read for pleasure, so don’t worry if a book is below your reading level, has (or doesn’t have!) pictures, or is about a topic your teacher might not love. It’s summer! ☀️ You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll build up your language and writing skills while reading. It's even helpful to read an old favorite in your new language: You already know the plot, so you can just let the words wash over you.

Tip 3: Crank up the volume

Learners of all levels can jump back into their language through music. Host a dance party, build a playlist (or use one of Duolingo's!), and practice your language while you sing along! For intermediate and advanced learners, podcasts are also a great way to jog your memory. Check out the Duolingo Podcast for French or Spanish—each episode tells the real stories of people from all over the world, and the English-speaking host helps you check your comprehension along the way.

Tip 4: Get creative

Many of your favorite summertime activities, hobbies, and distractions can be adapted for language learning! Let your Duolingo lessons inspire you: Illustrate your favorite silly sentences, perform the most recent Story in your path, or practice the language with other summer camp-inspired activities. These fun, easy tasks make getting back into the swing of things a family affair, and they're a gentle way to get the wheels turning in your brain again.

Tip 5: Sleep on it

You read right! Your brain does some of its best learning when the day is through. Make sure you’re getting enough of it after all your fun language practice so you can safely store everything you’ve learned and retrieve it again when school is back in session.

This summer, fall in love with learning 💘

Whether you're spending long summer days outside in the sun or hiding from the heat indoors, there are lots of simple, low-stress language activities that make it easy to get back into the swing of things!