Tips for Learning A Second Language Abroad
Learning a second language in its native country requires a certain amount of courage on the part of the learner, and a commitment to learning. For learners who find themselves posted to a country on short notice for work reasons or unexpectedly travelling there with no instruction in the basics, it can be particularly challenging but success promises sweeter rewards – so here are some tips about everyday learning opportunities:
Learning About Food
Hunger can be a great motivator when it comes to learning a second language abroad. Unless you have an endless budget and don’t travel beyond the tourist traps where menus come in various languages, sooner or later you’ll find yourself hungry in somewhere more remote. This can be an enjoyable learning experience, one that may result in the discovery of delicious delicacies.
Food offers a great way to learn vocabulary visually by pointing and miming. Travellers can learn the words for different types of eating establishments from the signs over the doors. They can also learn the verbs for eating and drinking, and the words for different local dishes. The key to making the most of these opportunities is to keep trying different places and dishes. For example, if they want to improve their English students in the UK at http://www.uiclanguages.com/english_courses/brighton should not eat fish and chips on the pier every day, no matter how quintessentially British the experience is said to be.
Learning About The Weather
The shared experience, particularly of extreme weather conditions, is another great language learning opportunity. It doesn’t take long for a party of international travellers in a poorly air-conditioned bush bus to start sharing the words for hot and sweaty; or for forlorn travellers stuck in a cafe because of rain to find the words to empathise with each other.
Learning About Your Hosts
On a personal level, making an effort to speak the language with your hosts will improve your confidence and help you learn more. Most families who host international students and visitors are open-minded and want to share their culture, so make the best of their generosity and repay them by speaking their language whenever you can.
Learning About The Culture
Tip #3 leads to tip #4. There is no better way to learn about other aspects of local culture, from local customs to dress sense, than by taking part in local events. Wherever you are most locals are sympathetic and will always try to explain what is going on and include foreign travellers. The result may sometimes be learning new words that don’t even exist in your own first language. What could be more satisfying than that?