Living Abroad: How To Maximize Your Foreign Language Skills
Learning a foreign language is no easy feat — it may have taken you a lot of effort to learn the basics. Whether you learned it just because or because you're going to live where the language is widely used, you might want to put it into good use. This way, you can communicate with locals effectively. Speaking that language can also become second nature to you.
This article gives you tips on how to maximize your foreign language skills.
Improve Your Pronunciation And Accent
Because you're living abroad, it's even all the more important that you'll be able to improve your pronunciation and accent. This will help other people understand what you're saying better and more quickly. Don't be intimidated if, during the first few months, you obviously don't sound like a native speaker. The more you talk to locals and use that new language, the more you'll be able to improve both your pronunciation and accent. Soon enough, you'll be speaking and conversing as locals do.
Take Tutorial Classes
Technology has made it possible to have easy access to all sorts of tutorial classes you may want to take. Even if you're already in that new country, this doesn't mean you should stop making that conscious effort to learn. Attending tutorial classes is still one of the best ways to brush up on your communication skills and learn the rules of the language.
Another advantage of taking tutorial classes is that it enables you to have a consistent conversation partner. Taking Japanese private classes, for instance, means your tutor can focus on correcting your mistakes. Thanks to that, you won't carry those mistakes with you to Japan, thinking it's acceptable. The earlier you're able to correct your language errors, the more fluent and effective you become in speaking that particular foreign language in your new country.
Take It Easy On The Vocabulary
Quality over quantity, all the time. This principle also applies to learning a new language. It's important not to overwhelm yourself with too many words all at once. Doing so will only make it harder for you to master or remember what you've already learned.
Yes, it might be good if you become fluent in that language faster. However, pushing yourself too hard might just hold you back. There's no rush or competition as to who gets there first. Take it easy on yourself, as you don't really need to learn all of the words in one go. As you live longer and continue to talk more with locals, little by little, you'll also start adding a few more words to your vocabulary.
Always Read Out Loud
Reading is another good way to learn and maximize your foreign language skills. Reading aloud makes it easier for you to remember and memorize new words. Moreover, reading aloud also allows you to test your pronunciation skills.
It doesn't matter if it's a book, a random sign, or even a form you're filling up. Just read it aloud. The more you do this, the more you're also training your mouth to master the movements needed to help you feel more comfortable with speaking that particular language.
Memorize All Grammar Rules
If there's one thing you'll have to memorize, that's definitely grammar rules. Grammar is the foundation of good spoken and written language. As you, later on, start casual conversations with locals, having good grammar helps them understand you better. Memorizing the basic grammar rules makes it easier for you to converse and form sentence and phrase constructions seamlessly and accurately.
Listen According To What Interests You
What are your interests? Do you like listening to music? How about listening to the news on the radio? Or, would you rather watch movies and TV shows? Whatever it is that sparks your fancy, take the time to expose yourself to it. Even if you may not completely understand what they're saying yet, your mind is still able to absorb all that you hear. This helps you learn conversational speaking so you can effectively maximize your hard-earned foreign language skills.
One of the best ways to master and learn a foreign language is to keep going. Continue using it, so you can keep on honing your skills for the better. Making mistakes is only part of the learning process. Your only hindrance to maximizing your foreign language skills is your mistaken notion that you can't do it. The more you keep using the language as your main language when you study abroad, you might be one step closer to finally mastering the new foreign language you've just learned.
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