Learning a new language is both exciting and challenging. When you move abroad, you don’t necessarily speak a foreign language. Many people have that opportunity to learn after they move to a new country.
So, is learning a new language in a foreign country a good option or a bad? Learning a foreign language in a foreign country definitely provides more career opportunities for you. You are forced to leave your comfort zone behind and speak to native speakers. The more you are inclined to speak the foreign language, the easier it will be for you to grasp it. However, learning a new language in a foreign land does have its challenges. This is why you need to know a few basic things before you embark on your journey. For example, the fastest way to learn Spanish is by speaking Spanish whenever you can, and talking to native speakers.
Learning any language can be easy if you know the right steps to take. Of course, you can hire a tutor and depend on him to teach you everything. But after your class/session is over, it is up to you to further your learning process. Things, like revising your lessons and learning on your own, are some of the techniques that every learner should know about.
Here are some dos and don’ts you need to know if you are going to learn a new language in another country.
Do Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Now that you must learn a new language in a country you barely know, you need to make the best out of this situation. Make new friends and talk to them. If you get a chance to hang out with the natives/locals, avail it. Attend their gatherings or parties because you cannot interact much at your workplace. Social gatherings are informal, and that is where you will learn how to communicate in a new language.
Do Live With Native Speakers
If you have a chance to live with any native speakers, take it! There is no better way to learn a new language. When you live with a person, you have to spend time with them day and night. There will be things that you will have to compromise on as you both share an apartment/room. You will be sharing responsibilities such as buying the groceries and paying the bills.
During all of this, you will have to learn to communicate with each other. Of course, the only way you are going to do that is by learning the language your roommate speaks. If you live with a native speaker, you will slowly learn common words and phrases. This is a promising situation if you are already a student who is learning the language. You will have a partner who can practice with you, and teach you his language.
Do Keep a Vocabulary Book with You
Just because you are already learning a language, does not mean that you should not try on your own. You are given a chance to learn from the natives themselves. Keep a dictionary or a vocabulary book with you. When you visit public places, like bus stations or cafes, listen closely to the people around you.
As you are already in a foreign country, you will be surrounded by locals. Listen to what they say and note down any words that you don’t know about. Search those words in the dictionary, and learn their meanings.
Don’t Speak Your Own Native Language
When you are learning a new language, in the beginning, you will not feel comfortable speaking it. There is a chance that you will like to speak your native tongue more and that can be a problem if you are a learner. How can you learn something new if you cannot get used to it?
There will be times where you will be inclined to speak your own language, but you have to resist that urge. You will meet many people who will speak your language, but you need to keep speaking the foreign language. Perhaps, this is the benefit of living in a foreign country; you will NEED to speak in the foreign language on some occasions.
Don’t Waste Your Time
While you do your best to settle down in a new place and learn the new language, use your time wisely. A lot of people are so impatient with mastering the new language that they begin to take excessive lessons. Such haste will not take you anywhere. Learning about a new language for hours in a single day is not equal to learning every day for one hour.
Language is not something that you can cram in your mind. It will need time. While you are at it, you also need to conserve your energy. Spending all your strength at one point will only waste your time. Remember, quality is always better than quantity!
Don’t Be Afraid Of Making Mistakes
If you are abroad, be thankful that you can practice easily. You won’t have to find native speakers to practice with you. You can talk to a shopkeeper, and you will have an idea about where you stand. However, many people get scared of being judged. That is completely wrong. Natives in another country know when someone is a foreigner. The more you will speak in the new language, and the more mistakes you will make, the more you will learn.
Don’t Lose Hope
Lastly, do not lose hope. Learning a new language can be tricky, and it will take time. Just because you cannot see the results in a week or even a month does not mean that you should lose all hope. Every person takes his own time. Give yourself time to adjust to this new change.
Practice, get out of your comfort zone and make mistakes. Once you have learned the new language, you will enjoy living abroad!