7-02-2019 by Linda
You have just booked a language course abroad! Congratulations: what a party, fiesta, feestje or fête! Maybe you have no idea what to expect. Chances are that this is the first time that you're going abroad to learn a new language. In s series of three blogs we give you tips to leave well prepared for your language course.
Here you will find part 1: make sure you find yourself already a bit 'in the language'. Whether you are going to London to take your English to a professional level or you are going to Valencia to learn the basics of Spanish. Beforehand it is nice if you have already felt the characteristics of the language so that the first lessons does not completely overtake you.
1. Take advantage of free apps and language training programs
Thanks to free language learning apps such Duolingo, Anki and Mango, you can easily learn the basics of a new language through entertaining language lessons for free. These apps are especially nice for languages that you do not yet master. Because you put these apps on your phone, you can follow a course during every coffee break, every travel moment or just in the queue of the supermarket.
This is not only useful for your language proficiency, you can also make yourself enthusiastic during these moments for the trip that awaits you. Because besides being educational and useful, above all a language trip is a lot of fun. Whether you follow these digital lessons for fifteen minutes a day or for an hour a day, and whether you start a month or a week in advance: it really will help you. Even if only because this short lessons familiarize you with the type of words, letters, sounds and pronunciation of the language you are about to learn. This way you will not step into the classroom completely blank.
TIP: Choose a fixed moment when to follow a lesson via one of the apps. This way the chances are a lot bigger for you to really practice and it doesn't stay with just downloading the app. Before brushing your teeth, after dinner or in the bus to work or study?
2. Surround yourself with the language
Listen to English podcasts. Watch Spanish television shows. Open a French magazine or children's book. Or turn on the Italian radio. There are so many easy ways to stimulate your language skills a little without much extra time or effort. There is an endless world of music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, magazines, books and radio-shows that you can use to get used to a language. By doing so, you also dive into the land and culture and you can look forward to it.
Enough examples of people who speak fluent English thanks to playing games, watching movies (without subtitles) and listening to music. Although entertainment will not immediately lead to fluency for most of us, it is an effective way to practice without making it feel like homework. And the best thing about this is: you can do this everywhere as well.
Listen to French R & B while shuttling, watch telenovelas in the gym and watch classic Italian movies while eating your pizza or plate of spaghetti al ragù. You will notice that you understand things much faster than you expected. YouTube is also your best friend here - you can find everything from English news broadcasts to French beautyvlogs and Spanish children's programs.
TIP: Are'nt you a big fan of films and series and do you actually never listen to the radio or podcasts? Then change the language settings of your browser, computer, telephone or other devices to the language in which you are going to do a course. So you see and read something every day in the language you are going to learn.
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