Being an international student allows you to discover new cultures while studying at a university. Thus, learning a new language can be a valuable way to make the most of your stay in a new country and socially integrate yourself better.
It can also give you an advantage if you plan on working in the host country after you’ve completed your studies. Having said this, learning a new language while keeping up with your studies can be demanding. However, we have listed a few best tips for learning a new language to make things easier for you.
Best Tips For Learning a New Language
Here are five best tips for learning a new language while studying abroad:
- Set Measurable Goals
- Practice With Native Speakers
- Consume Media In The Local Language
- Set Your Device Default To The Learned Language
- Make A List Of New Words And Phrases
Set Measurable Goals
Before you begin your language learning journey, set goals that can be tested or measured. These objectives may pertain to the level of proficiency you want to achieve within a specific timeframe abroad.
Setting goals helps you to remain focused when studying alone or enrolling in masterful Japanese language lessons, for instance. This can be particularly useful when learning a challenging language that is entirely different from yours. Monitoring your development in this way can serve as a source of motivation and renewed assurance as you work to achieve your objectives.
Practice With Native Speakers
Most linguists and language experts agree that the most effective way to learn a new language is to practice it with native speakers. Doing this provides you with the essential tools for language learning: accent and enunciation imitation and vocabulary that’s relevant to your field of study.
Furthermore, it allows you to develop the habit of speaking the language, which also helps your brain think in that language. Speaking with native speakers also teaches you social and cultural norms to be aware of. You can approach native speakers within the study groups at your campus abroad or with your host family.
Consume Media In The Local Language
Learning a new language shouldn’t be limited to an academic endeavor consisting of studying, practice, and testing. If you incorporate local media into your courses for fun and increase your familiarity with popular media, this can also be considered as a cultural immersion activity.
To do this, you can watch local TV shows in your host language or discover some famous musicians singing in the host language to listen to on the radio or online media.
Additionally, you can read books or magazines that are aimed at a younger audience for a simplified version of the language. Once you become more proficient, you can move on to more advanced media such as local newspapers.
Set Your Device Default To The Learned Language
To make the most of your cultural and language immersion, it’s essential that you get as much exposure to your learned language as possible. This means limiting your access to English so your mind can absorb the new language much easier.
One way to do this is to change your digital devices, website languages, and other learning tools to your learned language as the default.
While this might prove challenging initially, it’s a helpful way to break out of disruptive language habits, such as translating and subconsciously applying English grammar to the host language. If you find this too difficult, start slow by changing one or two apps, then move on to the rest as you get better.
Make A List Of New Words And Phrases
Take a notepad and pen or writing app everywhere you go while studying abroad. This allows you to constantly write down a list of new words and phrases you might learn outside formal lessons.
These can be done by listening to locals’ conversations at cafes, lecture halls, or anywhere in public. What’s more, writing things down takes the pressure off to memorize all the new knowledge that you must swiftly acquire. Even if you choose not to make a list of words, you can also take notes on language rules you encounter from native speakers and want to implement.
Immersion is one of the most important things to remember when you’re trying to learn a new language while you are away to study abroad. This is necessary to retain as much knowledge as possible and for your mind to acknowledge this additional language as one of your own.
To do this, combine textbook learning with speaking to natives and consuming media in the language until you’re completely immersed in it. In the end, you may find yourself motivated and committed to becoming a second language speaker within a reasonable amount of time. Having seen the best tips for learning a new language, check out how mastering a language can help in advancing your career.