Learning foreign languages is always a great investment in our development and future. Modern world and technologies offer us many effective ways to do it. Studies online, apps, language schools – there’s so many possibilities that let us study without even leaving our home! Still, a lot of people believe that the best way to learn a foreign language is to go to a country where it is spoken. Is it really the most effective method? And if so, how to go about doing it? Let’s find out!
Why learning foreign languages is so important?
Learning foreign languages is one of the most popular extracurricular activities that students engage in. It’s easy to see why. Being fluent in more than one language really boosts our worth in a future job’s market, as well as enhances our intelligence levels and overall development. In fact, research shows that studying foreign languages is one of the best things we can do for our brain. It leads to:
- Enhanced problem solving skills;
- Improved verbal abilities;
- Better memory;
- Sharpened mind;
- Better creative thinking;
- Enhanced multitasking abilities;
- Increased self-confidence and overall happiness levels.
Knowing all the benefits that studying foreign languages brings, it’s no wonder why so many people – both young and old – do it in their free time. Despite all the positive outcomes for the brain, learning something new, especially if it leads to more social interactions, is also a good life experience that shape our personalities and changes our perspective on the world. There truly is no way to go wrong here!
Language programs abroad
If we talk about studying foreign languages abroad, there are usually two routes to choose: learning the language in school or course and learning the language through work and social interactions. From these two, choosing a learning course, program or school seems like the best option. Here’s why:
- Going to school/course/program will help you with theory, which is something that interactions with people alone won’t do.
- Enrolling on a course is a great way to meet like-minded people, who may become your study buddies.
- Studying language in school in another country doesn’t take away from you the possibility to interact with other people. You can still immerse yourself in their language and culture, all the while getting a proper lingual education.
If you’re no longer a student or can’t afford not to work in another country, then it’s always a good idea to combine these two. You don’t have to go to full time college – you can simply enroll on a course and work in the meantime. That way you’ll get the best of both worlds. And you’ll quickly see that studying language abroad is one hundred percent worth it.
Learning foreign languages in work
Some people believe that the best way to learn a language is to interact with people who are fluent in it. They think that knowledge of the basics plus day-to-day conversations with others are enough to get the language skills they want. Of course, there is some truth to that. If you can’t afford going to a language school, or simply believe that the best way to learn is by practice, then moving to another country and spending a lot of time with people who use your target language will definitely raise your chances of becoming fluent.
Here’s why it’s worth it:
- You’ll immerse yourself in the language and culture.
- You’ll be forced to use your new skills every day, not just in class.
- You’ll meet a lot of people.
- You’ll get acquainted with different accents and ways of speaking.
- It’ll look great on CV.
- You’ll learn a lot of new vocabulary that you may not necessarily find in a textbook.
This is especially true for young people who want to get a summer job abroad. Listening to real-live conversations, interacting with others on a daily basis, having close contact with the culture – these are all amazing experiences that will improve your communication skills. Such approach to language will be absolutely invaluable. It will give you the edge over those who stick to the textbooks exclusively. Keep in mind, however, that this will happen if you already have some basis. If you’ve never studied and just intend on learning by practice, you may actually become overwhelmed and discouraged. That’s why for work and vacation is it advised to go to a country where people speak the language you know at least a little.
Learning languages online – is it effective?
Studying language abroad is one of the best ways to become fluent and more communicative. Immersing yourself in the culture of a different country will give you an unforgettable experience and much deeper understanding of the language. Sometimes, though, it is not an option. Whether it’s due to financial issues or some other obligations, not every one of us will be able to just move to another country. In this case it may be helpful to consider courses online. Whether from professional language schools or just conversations with another person who speaks your target language – this is a great opportunity to learn something without leaving home. In fact, research shows that studying online is just as effective as other forms of learning. It may just require for you to be very organized and self-disciplined. Without the obligation of seeing your classmates and teachers face-to-face, you may sometimes lose enthusiasm and motivation. With the right mindset, however, it can be a great experience. Cheap, comfortable and time-saving, studying languages online can be an amazing alternative for going to school or moving abroad.
Studying language abroad can be very effective. You have a close contact with language and culture of a given country, while getting some valuable life experience. It’s worth mentioning, though, that not everyone will benefit from it. If your circumstances or likes don’t allow you to study languages abroad, don’t get discouraged! There’s a lot of different, equally effective methods!