Expat Survey 2013 Reveals 3 Ways to Learn a Foreign Language Abroad
One of the most difficult things about adapting to a new culture is learning the local language. Many professionals living outside their home country make it a priority to learn the local language citing that it made their experience as an expat much more enjoyable.
Recently, The Expat Survey 2013 noted that the majority of expatriates who were polled experienced difficulties learning the local language. In addition, 83% made learning and use the local language their first priority when integrating into their new culture. Speaking the local language gave them a better sense of community and allowed them to fully embrace the local culture.
Below are three resources you can use to help learn the local language.
1. Take language classes
Your best course of action is to sign up for a class, according to Future Expats Forum. This can either be done in your home country or once you've arrived. Either way, make sure it is total immersion, and choose a class that speaks the language as the locals do. Better yet, this will provide you an opportunity to interact with fellow classmates, some of whom may be expats themselves. Not only will you be forced to pick up the language quickly, but you'll also have an ideal opportunity to meet new people.
2. Use the Internet
If you don't have the time for a class, consider using the Internet to learn a new language. Future Expats Forum recommended either a computer-based aid or a website for this task. Possible options include LiveMocha, which provides interactive instructions or Transparent.com. Of course, there is the ever-popular Rosetta Stone as well. No matter your choice, make sure you commit and practice regularly, since the encouragement and aid of a classroom setting will be missing.
3. Get out in public
It is nearly impossible to become fluent without human interaction. According to foreign language support website Listen & Learn, in a guest post for TeachThought.com, do what you can to make it interesting. For example, get out in public during your time off. Meet people, go to movies and do whatever it takes to immerse yourself in the culture. Make sure you try to talk to shopkeepers and other people in their language.
Learn more about the nuances of integrating into a new culture and avoiding culture shock.
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