The ability to speak another language is one of the greatest things that one can bring along with them when they launch themselves into a gap year. Though to many people, the prospect is daunting as they may have left foreign languages behind when they finished school. Regardless of this, it is a tool that will help travellers no end, so here are a few tips and tricks for learning a new language before you embark on your gap year.
If you can find a native speaker or a friend who is fluent in your desired language, try getting a delicious discussion going on over a meal perhaps. It may not be sparkling dialogue initially, but it’s the best thing you do when trying to master a language on a conversational level. Like any musician will tell you, playing in a band is the best of way of enhancing your own personal technique, as well as improving on your interacting abilities.
Slot saying a new word, phrase or sentence into your daily routine
You may appear a little bit kooky to others around you, but try and master something in the language you’re learning that has been a problem for you by saying it out load as much as possible. Here are also phrase apps like DuoLingo (although there are other applications available) that will make sure you stay on track of your development.
Watch critically acclaimed films
Trying to get into the language of sunny Spain? Watch a Pedro Almodovar feature. Feel like picking up where you left off with GCSE French? La Haine will help you ease back in, as well as teach you some slang dialect of the mean streets of Paris.
Research how words are intended to sound
There is nothing worse than thinking you have mastered some dialogue to find you have been mispronouncing certain segments of your utterances. It’s even more embarrassing when you’re doing it in front of an indigenous speaker. A lot of apps will let you listen to how certain phrases or words are meant to be articulated authentically.
If you are serious about it, then don’t give up
Some languages that appear to be a million miles apart from your own, like English to Japanese, put people off before they have even started. However, if you’re ultimate life goal is to learn a second or third language, then stick at it.
If you feel like your brain is frazzled or you’re getting too frustrated, take a breather and come back to it when cooler heads have prevailed. It may seem hard, but break it up sessions into manageable sittings, and if your methods start to become stale, stop doing them and shake it up.
Do you have any tips for learning a new language? Let us know what they are in the comments!