Do You Really Have to Live in a Foreign Country to Learn the Language?
When you are learning a new language the most common phrase you will hear is, you have to immerse yourself in the language and culture completely. This is on the whole true, but what nobody tells you is just how you go about doing it.
Learning a foreign language in the actual country is a daunting prospect, you do not just spend every hour in a classroom, but also have to converse with all manner of people in the details of day to day living. Ordering a coffee in a cafe is completely different to signing a tenant’s agreement and understanding what the document means.
Learn in the Country
Opting to live in a country to learn its language is a great idea but remember it does have its drawbacks. On the plus side is that you will have more opportunities to speak the language, but if you arrive knowing nothing it will not be easy just picking it up. The best advice is to already know how to speak the language to an acceptable level, and use your stay as finishing school.
Learning on Holiday
You will often hear friends and colleagues saying that they learned more on a two-week vacation than they did in four years of school. This in a way is true, but what your friends are not understanding is that they went on holiday with a strong base of the language that they learned in school. Learning from scratch is not the same as building knowledge on what you already know.
You Might Have Moved to the Country but You Still Need to Work Hard
Just because you have elected to move to the country of the language you want to learn it does not mean you can rest on your laurels. You probably have to work even harder as you will not get any down time to speak your own language to friends or colleagues. If you have taken a job to fund your trip then ensure you leave enough time for your studies, this can be incredibly tiring as working a full day and studying at night is not ideal.
Choose the Right Place to Live
When moving to a foreign country to learn its language, choose where you live very carefully. There is no point heading to holiday hot spots that will be full of expats. It would be natural for you to gravitate towards your own kind and converse in your common tongue. This will not help your studies one iota and it will defeat the purpose of your relocation. Instead choose large cities, that are predominately full of local inhabitants. This way you will be speaking and listening to the new language almost one hundred percent of the time. This forces you to keep on learning every day as you have no choice whatsoever, there will be no menus in multiple languages or guides to help you around the transport systems. In conclusion moving abroad to learn a new language is a really good idea, but ensure you have a proper grounding in the language before you go.