If you’re on the fast track of language learning and don’t want to wait years till you perfect Mandarin Chinese or Brazilian Portuguese, there’s a better way than sitting in stuffy classrooms: traveling abroad.
This will certainly speed up the learning process, as you’ll be able to try out your skills on the natives with whom you’ll interact each day. Being immersed in a foreign city forces you to speak as they speak, do as they do. You won’t be able to skate by on weekly lessons that spoon feed you a little bit at a time. Instead you’re thrown into the language pool with no life vest. Sounds exhilarating huh?
Well, it may sound daunting to some, but in the end, you’ll end up mastering the language more quickly than if you stayed at home and read from a book.
When you immerse yourself in the language abroad, you’re also boosting your self-confidence. While online tutorials and books can prove useful because they give you the vocabulary necessary to start basic conversations, they merely form the backbone of real language learning.
Having the ability as well as the courage to speak in front of others is absolutely necessary if you want to make progress in a foreign language. If you don’t open your mouth and practice the language throughout the day, your progress will naturally be slower. Don’t be afraid to take risks or make mistakes. You will find that most native speakers, upon learning you’re new to the language, will be patient with you as you navigate your way.
Feedback and Correction
When you converse regularly with language experts or native speakers, you have someone who can check – and correct — your progress. Yes, practice makes perfect, but without feedback, how can you move forward with confidence knowing you’re doing it right? You need to have confidence and the best way to get that is to have someone who can tell you if you’re on track.
Tell your teacher, native speaker or other helper that it’s OK to correct your pronunciation and grammar. The key is to use the language first, focusing on the grammar later. This is so you can gain context before worrying about the hard and fast rules.
As you learn alongside native speakers, it’s helpful to also consume all media you can in the foreign language, from movies and TV shows to podcasts and websites.
Have specific goals in mind that you can achieve, such as conversing with a shop owner or conducting a meeting with clients.
Experts say that gaining basic conversational proficiency in this way can be achieved in just several weeks. Keep it up. Volunteer in the community, meet with colleagues after work, get out in front of people as much as you can.
To kick off the learning process, try a free trial with BRIC Language Learning today!