Learning a second language has countless benefits, not only socially, but for your own mental simulation. Not to mention, it looks great on a CV. Learning a new language can always be tricky, but the best method of improving your skills is to immerse yourself in the daily life the country of your chosen language. Listening to every-day conversations and placing yourself outside of your comfort zone is a fool-proof way to improve your comprehension and spoken ability, and allows you to think like a native. However, even with full immersion, you can employ certain tips and tricks to make your experience as easy and beneficial as possible!
While you are away, always carry a dictionary (either a hard-copy or on your phone) and a personal notebook. As you hear new words in your daily life, translate them on the spot and make a note of them. Eventually, you will have your own personal glossary and an even more extensive rage of vocabulary.
MAKE IT FUN
Learning doesn’t always mean just sitting in a classroom. Sometimes, the best way to learn is by embracing pop culture. There are countless websites and apps that you can use to play games and practice your second language. Follow meme pages in your second language on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. Explore music and television – Spanish telenovelas and French films are not only entertaining, but you will be surprised the information you can pick up while you watch. If this is too much commitment for you, you can try changing the subtitles on Netflix or your TV to your second language while watching English shows. You’ll learn new words while you relax!
While in a new country learning a language, things can become a bit over-whelming. Everybody has a limit to how much they can hear before absorption just isn’t possible anymore. If your classes are too intense and you’re struggling to understand, don’t be afraid to let your teacher know that you are finding it difficult. Suffering in silence won’t help anyone! Also keep in mind that your teacher is your greatest weapon, if you need some clarification or someone to speak to.
CHANGE YOUR PHONE SETTINGS
DON’T BE AFRAID
One of the biggest issues that inhibits learning a new language: yourself. We are always afraid of what others may think of our attempts; too afraid of making fools of ourselves that we don’t even try. It is important to understand that your teachers and peers know you are with them to learn – you are expected to make mistakes! What is important is that you always try. Nobody will laugh if you make a grammatical error, they are there to help and support you. Don’t worry about messing up.
It’s important that you make the effort to engage with your peers. By interacting with people your own age who speak your target language, you begin to be fully immersed in the language, orally and aurally. Sometimes your classmates might try to speak English with you – but it’s important you stop them and let them know you’re there to learn. You can learn much faster having a conversation than you ever would staring at a textbook. It’s much more fun too!
DON’T GIVE UP
The most crucial tip when it comes to learning a new language is to persevere. It can feel overwhelming at times, but if you take it at your own pace and keep trying, you will definitely succeed. Remember why you want to learn a second language, and encourage yourself to stick to your reasons and all the hard work you have put in. At the end of the day, you know what works for you.