One of the greatest benefits to studying abroad is learning a second or third language. Here are some helpful tips to learning a second language:
- Learn something new every day; a word, phrase, expression or question.
- Take advantage of free literacy. Find an old book, newspaper, flyer or magazine to read. Reading in a foreign language will help you to recognize verb tenses and build your vocabulary.
- Watch television in the foreign language, concentrate on hearing and recognizing how words are pronounced.
- Strike up conversations with people; on the bus, on the street, in a café, at the park—practice using the language as much as possible.
- Make friends with locals. In most countries people are required to take English courses in school, speak to them in their language and have them practice their English with you, you will be amazed to find how eager Internationals are to practice their English.
- Don’t be scared or embarrassed to speak, the more you do the more you will improve.
- Don’t always speak English when you are with other Americans, practice speaking among yourselves in the foreign language to help each other improve.
- If you are having a lot of difficulties communicating with someone, think of it like charades, use gestures and be creative.
- Remember: A SMILE LOOKS THE SAME IN EVERY LANGUAGE! 🙂