Travelling abroad is always an exciting and resourceful time. You’re met with the opportunity to experience the wonders of a different culture; try new foods; meet bundles of people that may differ greatly to you; and so much more. Of course, these happenings may still be much appreciated experiences. But they may leave a window for more if you are not attempting to maximise your knowledge of the language whilst abroad. This article will introduce ways in which you can do this. Then, you will be able to utilise your language skills for your own benefit on your travels.
- Learn A Little Bit First
- Immerse Yourself In The Culture
- Do Some Work In The Country
- Consume Media In The Language
- Read As Much As You Can
- Communicate With People Frequently
Learn A Little Bit First
In order to maximise your language skills and learning whilst in another country, one thing is certain. You would need to already know something about the language. The best way to be in this position would be to involve yourself in language learning lessons prior to travelling. This can be done through Learn&Co. Our reputable and experienced language tutors will provide you with learning tailored accurately to your needs.
Of course, you may not learn everything about the language, or you may not even want to. The best thing about these language lessons is that they will cater exactly to what you want. They also cater to how much you are willing to learn. Taking them can get you on the right foot. This way, when you do go to the country you are planning to, you will know enough of the language to truly integrate yourself into the atmosphere.
No matter how much you do know, whether you are a beginner or experienced, you will undoubtedly still learn a lot when you get to the country. You will be around the true authentic nature of the country and the language. You will be meeting people who speak the language, and you will be able to educate yourself on things that are a lot easier and more natural to do when in the country.
Immerse Yourself In The Culture
Once you actually make it abroad, a very worthwhile way to maximise your language knowledge is to make sure you are actively involving and immersing yourself in the culture. Beyond the language specifically. Explore the attractions and the land on a level greater than those popular with tourists. To really engage with the culture, it would be a good idea to find out what is also important to the locals – the areas, landmarks, sights. Chances are, there is a rich history behind most of them. Discovering these things can help you to learn more about the culture. It is likely that there is history behind the tourist attractions. By wanting to know the language, you are showing that you are attempting to become familiar with the language and the country deeper than surface level.
It would also be effective to try foods and drinks closely connected to the country. There will always be commercialised things to indulge in. However, if you really want to feel submerged in the culture, then trying its true cultural food and drink will allow you to feel the authentic experience of your trip. Again, there may be some interesting information behind some of the things you are indulging in. The same can most definitely be said for art in the country. In any country, you can learn a lot just by looking at the art that surrounds it. Go to museums, galleries, exhibitions, walk on different streets and take in the art you see. Do some research and discover the meaning behind the pieces, and feel that much closer to the culture.
And of course, art doesn’t stop there. Literature, plays, architecture, and so much more, fall under art. Through each art form, you can uncover some gainful information about the country. So you should definitely try to check out as much as you can.
Do Some Work In The Country
How long will you will be staying in the country for? For lengthier stays, it would be a good recommendation to look into involving yourself in helping the community you are in. You can do this by working or volunteering. This most certainly will enable you to figure out a lot about the locals of said country. Despite whether you are working with them or whether they are your customers. You can maximise your language skills through them as well, all whilst actually doing something worthwhile. A good place to start looking is Projects Abroad; it can even help you to establish where you would like to go.
Consume Media In The Language
Whilst you are in the country, don’t allow your language skills to take a step back. Do not revert back to your original language when consuming different forms of media. These include television, music, and books. You will probably be exposed to a lot of content that fall under the different umbrellas of media when you are in the country. For example, you might become more aware of certain shows with native speakers of the language. Or on the other hand, you can turn to shows that exist to people in many countries. They often have audio and subtitles in many languages.
For instance, a popular comedy series may be available on Netflix in your original country, and in the country you are travelling to. To truly enhance your language learning, consume the content in the language you are learning. This will be the language you will hear around you as you travel around the country. You can pick up on a lot of new things, things you already need. You also have the opportunity to highlight anything you didn’t know, and research what it means. Of course, it is recommended that you watch with subtitles. This is a good way to ensure you are aware of what is being said, whilst also helping to maximise your reading and listening skills.
For something like music in the language you are learning, you can look up the lyrics whilst listening, which can strengthen your connection to the song and its words.
Read As Much As You Can
A form of print media is books, and you can learn a lot from reading them. It is possible that when taking your language learning lessons with Learn&Co prior to travelling to the country, your tutor may be able to recommend some books in the language. They may even alert you to some effective textbooks that you can take with you. Regardless, there is likely to be a library or bookshop in the country. You can pick out books that suit your tastes, and chances are the books will be in the language you are learning. So reading them will give you a strong chance to improve your reading skills.
A good habit to introduce yourself to would be having a dictionary on hand when you are consuming the media just mentioned. This way, you will be able to immediately look up the definition of words that you are unfamiliar with. Such will enable you to understand the contents much more. This differs to simply using a translating service, which can often be incorrect. Of course, context is sometimes applicable when using the dictionary. Hence, why it is good to have some prior knowledge on things to do with pronouns, verbs, nouns, and so on.
Communicate With People Frequently
In order to maximise or improve on anything, you have to constantly put it into practice. This is also how you maximise your language knowledge whilst abroad. Especially when abroad. Therefore, it is advisable that when you are in the country, you attempt to communicate with as many people in the language as much as possible. This could range from anybody, from locals that you bump into in different places, to people you develop a friendship with. No matter how confident you may or may not be in the language knowledge you already uphold, you should not let that deter you.
Most people will be able to determine that you are a learner. Thus, they will probably be patient with you if you get things wrong. They may even teach you a few things! The more you speak the language with them, the more used to it you will become. Then, the easier it will become for you.
Of course, there are likely many more ways to maximise your language knowledge whilst abroad. However, this article has attempted to supply you with some of the most effective, and also, easiest tips to do so. And remember to be guided by the fact that our Learn&Co tutors are great at providing you with the initial knowledge in the language. This will make it a lot easier for you to further your skills when abroad.