What can we do when practising social distancing?

Hi, everyone! I hope you are keeping well and safe. You’ve done a great job by staying at home and minimising social contact! Give yourself a big round of applause! Social distancing is important as this greatly reduces the risk of contracting or spreading the virus without even noticing as someone in the community or even you yourself are a hidden carrier. So, please keep up the good work.

You may feel bored at home, but there is actually a lot of fun stuff that you can do!

Learn a language

Last time I have recommended the Tandem Language Programme organised by the EUSA. Unfortunately, all upcoming events are suspended for the rest of the semester. However, you may still join their Tandem Facebook Group and reach out to other language lovers! I am sure it is a good way to stay connected to your peers on the Internet!

There are also many other online resources designed for language learning. Websites like Memrise and Duolingo have many popular language courses that have been used and enjoyed by millions of netizens.

Podcasts

Some students may find it challenging to understand the content covered in class as English may not be the medium of instruction that they are used to. Therefore, it may also be a good idea to improve your English by listening to podcasts! BBC produces weekly podcasts about everyday topics every Thursday. These can be quality conversation starters for you to talk to anyone.

As a linguistics student, you may sometimes find it hard to explain linguistic concepts to your other friends. The Five Minute Linguist is a podcast produced by an array of linguist and scholars in the field. They have addressed some myths or common questions that the general public may have about languages. For example, in one of the episodes, the speaker explored whether languages influence the way we think – which is a topic we often refer to as Linguistic Relativity or the Sapir–Whorf Hypothesis. This podcast (also available as a book of the same name) would surely give you insights on how to share your linguistic knowledge to your friends and family in an informative yet interesting way!

Cook

Last month, Marios and Niamh shared some mouth-watering recipes with you all. In fact, this is one of the best ways to kill time. Not only would you be enjoying the food preparation process with your loved ones, but you also get to eat the food that you cooked with your effort and affection for them. All the food become tastier as your hard work pays off. There are loads of recipes on BBC Good Food. Now that you are eating at home more frequently, you get to choose how much seasoning and oil you add to the dish. It is a good way to start a reduced salt and sugar diet because a lower intake of salt and sugar is the key to good health.

It is surely a difficult and challenging time for all of us. However, if we minimise social contact and try to stay at home as much as possible, it is harder for the virus to be transmitted. As the Queen said, “Better days will return. We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” So, be a responsible citizen and stay at home for the rest of the nation and, most importantly, for your friends, your family and yourself.