You have your list of places you hope to see and things you want to do and hope to even learn some new skills along the way. But what skills, I hear you ask. Well, why not your language skills! Learning a language while travelling enable you to fully immerse yourself within your chosen country’s culture.
If, like me, the inability to travel due to Covid has made you slightly insane, then the widespread opening up of international borders has filled you with genuine excitement. You can now do all the things you longed to do during your time in isolation, one of them being seeing further than the four walls of your bedroom.
It will also open up a never-ending range of opportunities for you that just wouldn’t be possible without them. And with research proving that learning a foreign language is easier through travelling. There’s no better time to start. So, in this article, I’ll be going through 5 key tips to learning a new language whilst travelling the world that’ll make you a pro in no time.
Table of Contents
Learn before you leave
Yes I know we said whilst you’re travelling, but why not get a head start. If you want to truly study a language effectively for your adventure abroad. It’ll always help to begin your study before you’ve arrived in your chosen country. After all, preparation is key, and it’ll give you a great opportunity to learn some of the easier elements of the language, like greetings and simple conversation, before moving on to its more advanced aspects. Learning before you leave will also put you in a great position to be able to test out what you’ve learnt. You’ll know so much as soon as you arrive in your chosen country, giving you a head start and added confidence in a new and unfamiliar environment.
Here at Learn&Co, we provide a number of courses. Our experienced and specialist tutors will put you in a great position to master a language whilst you travel. If you would like to take some lessons to prepare for your journey, contact us through our website so we can find the online language tutors!
Know your learning style
If you’ve ever studied languages in the past you’ll be aware that there are numerous books out there to help you with your study. Whilst books can be good for concepts such as vocabulary and grammar. They often are not the most effective tool for many people to begin learning a language.
Not only will learning your style help you with learning a language, but it will also help you in all areas of your life. It will teach you how best you can pick up new skills. Once you’ve learned your style, there are countless learning aids to help you on your journey to mastering a language. From podcasts and apps to videos and tutoring, you just have to find the right one for you!
Knowing your learning style is especially important whilst travelling. Considering learning a language may not be your main priority. There will be so many new and exciting things that will have your attention. You want to ensure you can learn as effectively as possible and not waste any of your limited time with resources that just won’t work for you.
However, whilst the aids above can help you along your journey. Travelling gives you the chance to go further in your understanding of a language, a chance people studying in their own country just don’t have. It is because of this that you must resist the temptation to spend all your time studying. Try to truly experience the language in all its glory, something that leads me into my next key tip.
Look for ways to immerse yourself in the culture
It’s very easy when you’re in a new place to not put yourself out there. Everything is different and new and it often can get very overwhelming. You might be tempted to stay indoors in the safety of your home or hotel. This would be a huge mistake, as you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the culture.
Learning the local customs and norms, making friends and speaking to strangers. It gives you an unparalleled understanding of how your chosen language works in practice. You’ll unconsciously be studying without even trying and learn how to speak like a native. Instead of a tourist, whilst creating some fantastic memories along the way.
If like many of us you find it difficult to put yourself out there. There are a number of ways where you can meet some great people in a comfortable setting and also gain some lifelong skills. If you have an interest in teaching, why not study for your TEFL and help people in your chosen country learn the English language. You’ll be passing on a widely valued skill and have a great opportunity to interact with all manner of people. From locals to travellers just like you! If teaching isn’t for you, why not look for opportunities to volunteer. A great way to help the community you’ve become a part of whilst refining your language skills!
Avoid using your own language
We’ve all been there, you’re trying to communicate with a native using a mix and match of the local language and hand gestures that make you look like a mad person. It’s not going so well is it? The sheer embarrassment forces you to revert to your own language in the hope that somehow, someway, they’ll manage to understand you.
Stop! Whilst communicating in a new language can be uncomfortable and downright awkward sometimes, it’s important not to revert to what makes you comfortable. The more you speak, even if it is incomprehensible at times, the more chances you give yourself to learn. Correct your mistakes and become more comfortable with the language.
Avoiding using your own language doesn’t just go for when you’re speaking it. It’s important to expose yourself to as much of the native language as possible. So don’t forget to change those Netflix subtitles, a proven way to significantly improve content comprehension. If you don’t watch much t.v, why not pick up on some new music in your chosen country. Exposing yourself to songs you like in another language is a great way to enjoy coming to grips with your new language. Plus you’ll have some catchy new tunes to play for your friends back home when you return!
Just go for it
This final tip is the easiest to explain but the hardest to do. Just go for it! It’s easy when you’re in a new environment to underestimate yourself and fear failure. But by deciding to start your travels and learn a language, you’ve already overcome the biggest hurdle. That’s not to say you won’t find it difficult or make errors along the way. That is part of the process of your language journey. In a time where language skills are in high demand, especially post Brexit, You’ll never regret your decision, so just go for it!
There you have it. Five key tips to learning a language whilst travelling. Whilst there are other ways to learn a new language. The five listed here are a great start to support you on your language journey as you travel the world. Travelling will be an amazing opportunity to meet new people, experience new things, and learn about yourself, and we here at Learn&Co hope that from reading this article, you’ll be one step closer to mastering a language along the way!