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5 Dos & Don’ts For Learning A Foreign Language Abroad

Learning a foreign language is a valuable skill. You would be doing yourself a favor by learning as many languages as you can. Studies suggest that people who are either bilingual or multilingual are very good with their inhibitive functions such as the rejection of irrelevant stimuli. They are also amazing at switching their attention.

Multilingual people also have a reduced risk of developing dementia due to high brain activity levels. But these are physical advantages; being multilingual can teach you a lot about other cultures. Chances are you will fit right in without being noticed. If you are new to learning a language, here are some dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind.

  • Do talk to natives

Talking to natives is an excellent way of improving your language skills. You might have taken several “how to speak Spanish?” courses online, and your understanding of the Spanish could be impressive but speaking with a native can teach you about the native accents and words that are not used in formal speech. Talking to natives is a natural exercise for language proficiency so don’t miss out on it if you get a chance.

  • Do go to parties & meetings

If you get invited to parties and gatherings by your newfound native friends, do not say ‘no.’ I know the impulse is strong in an introvert traveler, but going to parties and interacting with people provides you with an opportunity to exercise your language skills.

It will also give you the extra boost of confidence you require. Throw yourself out there and try to speak as well as you can, in due time you will learn.

  • Do read in other languages

Even if you don’t get a chance to talk to a lot of people, you can continue your practice by reading literature written in a foreign language. Reading a foreign language is a very efficient way of learning it. Besides, you will be able to understand a writer as best as you can by reading his original works, instead of translated copies. Paulo Coelho’s Portuguese writings are a lot better than the translated version that we read in English, trust me.

  • Don’t speak English

You might take your knowledge of the English language for granted, but it is a coveted skill in many different countries. People might ask you to speak English with them so they can exercise their skills. Do not cave in, guys. Just try to speak as much of the language you want to learn as you can, and you would be fine.

  • Don’t lose hope

The biggest hindrance in your way of learning a new language is the fact that you might give up. Perseverance is the key; you need to remain stable. There are times when you will feel like you want to give up; don’t! Good things take time; if you try hard enough, you will get there.

Keep these few tips in your mind, and you would do just fine. Good Luck!

About the Author:

Lara Smith has worked for Wall Street English for 20 years. After studying at Stanford University and subsequently doing a CELTA course, she began her career in teaching. She is obsessed with languages and currently writes blogs at https://www.mimicmethod.com/.