Learning a language while traveling abroad is a perfect way to speed up the process. Compared to sitting in a classroom back home, the immersion that stepping into the culture offers is a powerful way to learn at an advanced and rate, and languages can often be picked up much quicker and more thorough when you have the opportunity to close the textbook and head into town.
But you can encounter some speed bumps when learning a language abroad. One friend of mine went to Paris for the Summer and had problems practicing her French because most of the young Parisians she hung out with wanted to practice their English on her! But it can be done, of course, and Rob over at Go Budget Travel has 5 tips to make learning a language abroad easier. Here’s a sample:
- Relax — “You are guaranteed to have a number of highs and lows along the way, including days or even weeks when you feel you haven’t made any progress at all. This is completely normal, so DO NOT let it discourage you.”
- Remember your goal — “You aren’t trying to learn a new language so you can hit the best-seller list, write poetry, or even compete with other language learners. You are learning a new language so you can communicate with speakers of that language. Nothing else!”
- Make it all a game — “A great way to find people that literally have to talk to you and to put your language abilities to practical use, is to give yourself mini-challenges“
- Go out, have a drink — “For me, a more effective strategy has always been to go out, have a couple drinks, and meet native speakers that have interests similar to my own.”
- Write it all down — “Everyday your brain will be overloaded with new words, rules, and phrases, that’s why it’s important to write it all down.”
For the full skinny on learning languages abroad, head over to Go Budget Travel.