Language Tools for Short-Term Missions, Part 3: Other Digital Resources

This is the long-awaited final installment of a three-part series designed to help potential short-term missionaries as they seek to make the most of available language-acquisition tools. In Part One we talked about how to best use Duolingo, and in Part Two we talked about how to take advantage of the foreign language content to be found on Spotify.

In this final episode we will cover a few digital tools that I have found useful in one way or another.


If you have a Netflix subscription you can generally find movies, series, and documentaries in your target language. For my French learning I have been going through episodes of a “reality” series called “L’Agence”, about a family of French real-estate brokers. Besides practice in hearing the language I have learned a lot about French culture, architecture, and…well…real-estate by watching it.

If you are learning Portuguese, there’s a great documentary on the life of Pelé.

When I started watching, I would play video with subtitles in French. As I progressed I would switch the subtitles off to see how much I could understand. Sometimes, if I get really stuck, I turn on the English subtitles to get a quick translation…but to be honest that feels like cheating.


Reading skills are an essential element in language learning. Thus, my Kindle has become an indispensable tool, allowing me to download books in French according to the level that I find myself at. Of greatest help to me have been the graphic novels of Lucky Luke and Asterix the Gaul. Incidentally, back when I was learning Portuguese the Brazilian editions of Asterix were a great help to me.


Specifically, I refer to the “Reels” feature of these sister social media apps. I have sought out and subscribed to a number of accounts which either teach French (lots of native language teachers use these apps for promotional reason, and are constantly posting free educational content), or feature native French speakers talking about everyday things. This second option has been the most valuable to me, as it has helped me train my ear to hear French as it is spoken on a day-to-day basis.

This concludes our series on language-acquisition. It is my hope that the information I have shared will be of use to those who are considering missions, either in a short-term or long-term capacity. At the end of the day, the better one knows the target language, the more ministry opportunities become available.


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And be sure to read the action-packed adventures of Missionary Max: Missionary Max and the Jungle Princess and Missionary Max and the Lost City.

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