A short immersion experience can send your language to the next level very quickly.
I thought I’d turn my attention in this post to ways of really giving your language skills a big boost. As with all things life often takes over and our good intentions for daily practice go out of the window. It pays then, from time to time, to try and give your language development some undivided attention.
The very best way of doing this is to go to a country where the language is spoken. You have several options and each of these has their merits:
Go on holiday
- Will you go alone? If not, then realistically how much language are you likely to use while you are there? If you do go alone then will you use every opportunity to speak? I know I might be more inclined to be anonymous and mooch around in silence! It depends on your personality. If you are likely to take advantage of the chance to develop and improve then go for it, it is a lovely way to relax, see the country and hone your skills.
Take a language course
- You could do this in your own country which is still valuable, perhaps find a native speaker teacher to help you. Or, you could choose a course overseas there are many to choose from. Obviously you need to consider the cost of the course and the accommodation.
- Here are a couple of directories to help you see what is available Study Global and English in Britain which features accredited courses. I have included these as examples. There are many more around. Do your homework and compare and contrast.
- Don’t just consider capital cities they can be expensive and there are often courses in other parts of a country which are just as good and will allow you to explore a different area. (see my RLI blog on why not to choose London for your course).
- The best accommodation is probably with a family so that you can use your language all day. Make sure you tell the school exactly what your needs are on this front. Some schools offer hostels where you can still practise albeit with other non-native students or self catering accommodation. Again do your homework.
Home Tuition courses
- These courses offer you the opportunity to live in your teacher’s home which gives you a real immersion experience with your own personal guide and mentor. To my mind they offer the best immersion experience. You will receive formal language lessons (usually one to one but some teachers have 2 or 3 students staying at once) These teachers are also wonderful hosts and you will feel very welcome in their homes. (If you scroll down on the blog cited above you will find a posting on these courses).
- Here are some sites to have a look at (in no particular order): Home Lingua, Regent, SGI, InTuition Live and Learn Homestays RLI again do your homework and do some research to find what you want. There are others this is just a sample.
If you want to come to Yorkshire for your Home Tuition course then here is a flavour! I’d love to see you there!