Language is essential in communication. It is, therefore, important to understand the language that we wish to communicate in. Most universities all over the world offer study abroad students different programs. While this idea may sound exciting for most students, for others, it is met with some hesitation. This is because language barrier is a major problem. It gets worse if the lecturers are using the foreign language to teach. Therefore, it is pertinent to learn the new language.
Learning a new language might be challenging, but you need not worry as we are going to discuss 11 ways to dive into a language environment while studying abroad.
1. Download a Language Learning App
The advancement of technology has brought about easy ways of knowing and doing things. With language learning apps, it is easy to access language lessons at any given time. These apps are equipped with audio programs that help the user with pronunciation.
2. Carry a Pocket Dictionary
While this may seem like an old-fashioned and outdated way of learning a foreign language, it is helpful. Having a dictionary endows you with the power to look up new vocabulary and get to know its meaning. It also gives you the ability to learn new words and how to use them in a sentence.
3. Enroll in a University or College Program
Most universities offer foreign language courses at affordable prices for students. Learning a foreign language in college is interactive since you get to practice the language with other classmates. This interactive form of learning makes it easy to grasp the new language. The university provides up to date reference books that can be used during studying. These are especially helpful to students learning foreign languages in this time and age where the numbers of students enrolling for foreign language classes are over-the roof. A good example is in the rise from 90.8% to 99% of the population of students learning foreign languages in France.
4. Private Lessons
Private lessons are advantageous since they bring about one on one interaction with the teacher. Therefore, the student gets all the attention that he/she requires. The teacher is able to monitor the progress of the student and to offer any assistance needed.
The only disadvantage with this is that private lessons can be more expensive than language courses offered by the university.
5. Buddy Programs
Buddy programs are informal methods of learning a new language. This involves an exchange lesson with foreign friends which can happen online or during one on one meet-ups with language buddies. From this interactive form of learning, you are able to learn slang, accents and pronunciation of words. Buddy programs provide a fun and cheaper way of learning a foreign language since they are absolutely free.
6. Practice Speaking
Speak the language as much as you can whether you’re perfect or not. Talk to strangers, ask for directions, tell a joke or order food. You can also talk to yourself when you have no one else to speak to. This will improve your language skills fast. It will also help you build confidence and make you comfortable while communicating in the language.
Always incorporate new phrases and vocabulary in your speech and use the new words in different contexts. This will help you keep the phrases fresh in your mind.
7. Have Fun With It
Find a way to make your learning fun. Be creative. Write a poem, listen to music in the new language, watch a movie, go to football matches or play games. These fun activities will help you learn a few phrases and improve your mastery of the language.
8. Read! Write! Speak!
Language learning is a holistic process. Reading, writing and speaking are just a few factors that guarantee successful language learning. Written language is refined therefore immersing yourself in reading will refine your language skills, improve your understanding of the language, and expand your vocabulary. While reading, try to learn words and expressions as they appear in context and use them while communicating.
Writing and speaking allow you to be creative and you get to identify any mistakes you make which you can then correct.
9. Avoid Using English
English is a universal language and is spoken in most countries all over the world. A student might be tempted to use English and neglect learning the new language. You should strive to put the foreign language that you’re learning into as much use as you can. Resist the temptation of reverting back to English as it will curb your progress of internalizing the foreign language effectively.
In case you find yourself developing the habit of insisting to use English in your communication, then you could as well cut down your hopes of learning the foreign language. This is because, with time, your need for learning the foreign language could easily get blunted as you might no longer see the essence of the new language.
10. Have a Go-To Place That Helps
Most people have that favourite spot that beckons to them whenever they are in the mood for simply relaxing or even getting a snack to eat. These spots assist people in getting familiar with the culture and people of that particular country that they are in. As a student taking some studies abroad, having such spots can go a long way in helping you to get better mastery of foreign languages.
If you take some time to visit various restaurants or even gyms, you are bound to meet diverse groups of people. You should take such opportunities to speak and listen to them because, with time, this will form the basis of your understanding of the language. It is also important to remember that as you practice, you should always work on your accents and tones to ensure that they are in tandem with the language’s native speakers.
11. Act Like a Child
In reference to this context, acting like a child does not interpret to throwing tantrums and creating a mess with every opportunity that you get. Instead, you should ensure that you learn in the same manner that kids do.
Children are fast learners and this is owed to mainly the absence of self-consciousness as well as the passion of playing about with languages regardless of the factors barring them from achieving fluency in these languages. It is also important to flesh out their knack of having no problem with making mistakes during their learning process. In light of this, be like a child and have no problem embracing mistakes as it is among the fastest ways to learn.
ConclusionWhile abroad, it is common for students to find themselves in environments that have different native languages than the ones that they are used to. This could prove to be quite the Achilles heel for such students in their efforts to adapt to these foreign countries due to the problems posed in communication. In the long run, they will have to find a way to learn the language to an extent of even getting to fluently flesh out compare and contrast essay topics for college students using that foreign language. In this article, we’ve covered some of the ways that you can use to dive into a different language environment while abroad.
Has this article been of informative value to you? What is your experience mastering a foreign language while abroad?
Lori Wade is the content writer and a career specialist for college students. She is a content marketer, sharing experience in writing, education, and self-development in her publications, for example, https://eliteessaywriters.com/blog/compare-and-contrast-essay-topics/. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.