How to improve your language skills while being abroad

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How to improve your language skills while being abroad

As mentioned in our previous blog post learning a language after the age of 10 is a lot harder. However, this doesn´t mean it is impossible. Having weekly classes to get you started in learning a language is great but to obtain a more natural fluency you need to immerse yourself in the language. Now I know this isn´t always possible but when you do have the opportunity you want to make the most of it. So this blog post is going to give some tips on how to get you one step closer to speaking the language like a native.

1. Find new media in the language you are trying to learn

This is a great way to practice and learn more of the language during your free time. Look for TV shows that are in the desired language. Sometimes it is good to look for shows that have a simple plot line and are easy to follow. You could have the subtitles on the screen to help see and listening to the words at the same time. This helps with learning the pronunciation and spelling of words. There is also the opportunity to listen to a podcast in the language you are learning. You could listen to the Duolingo podcasts which are easy to follow if you are a beginner. You could also read news articles or magazines to see what you understand. If there is anything that you are struggling with you can always as your native friends to help. This sort of exposure is great for learning more about the culture while listening and reading the language.

2. Avoid spending all your time with people who are also international

Sometimes it is easy to slip back into your old ways and speak to people that are in a similar situation to yourself. Since there is a high chance you will meet people who are from your own country or speak your native language it is easy to stay in a bubble without being exposed to the language you are learning in general conversation. Make friends with people from the country allows more valuable language practice and gives you an insight into cultural experiences.

3. Immerse yourself in the cultural practices

Learning a language isn´t just about memorising words and vocabulary, it´s also about having an understanding of the culture and practices. Understanding the language is also about being aware of the culture and history. By immersing yourself in it you can learn so much more. You can go to museums to learn about the famous artisits from the country or go see the traditional dance displayed in this country.

4. Set your worries and fears aside

While learning a language it can be daunting speaking to people when you are just beginning. People worry that others will laugh or point out grammar mistakes. You might even get annoyed that you can´t express yourself fully at the pace you normally talk. However, it´s important to set these concerns aside so you can try and give it a go. No one will put you down for trying to speak the language, they might even be impressed. Mistakes are inevitable but they are the way to learn.

5. Be realistic

The idea of becoming fluent in 3 months is unrealistic and a goal like this will just make you feel like you have failed. Travelling is a great way to learn a language but you can´t master the complexities in such a short period of time. Set some more attainable goals like reserving a table for a restaurant over the phone or having a conversation with the postman. Little goals along the way will help you to stay motivated.

6. Use the resources around you

The final point is that you need to make the most out of the resources around you. There is so much on the internet now that a lot of information is at your disposal. Use this information and make the most the people around you. Some times it can be a little overwhelming with all the websites available to you but if you know what you are looking for you can really learn a lot.

I hope these tips have been helpful on your journey to learning a new langauge. You can always look at our website for opportunity to support you learning a language.

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