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February 2016

Learn a Language when Moving Abroad

Published: Thursday 04 February 2016

Are you moving abroad and secretly wishing you would have paid more attention to that French class back in college? Are you worried that your language level won’t be enough for you to work in a different country or even for you to buy your groceries? You need not worry, because there are great ways for you to improve, no matter your language level, budget and available time.

If you are a professional who needs to learn a foreign language (or improve your language skills) for business purposes but do not have enough time to enrol in a language course, then there are highly recommended websites for you to learn from the comfort of your home. Rosetta Stone is one of them. They offer a wide variety of languages (English, French, German, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, Hebrew, etc.) and you can choose the plan that best fits your needs and budget. They also offer a range of courses designed for your use of the language. For example if you’re learning the language for business then taking a ‘Business’ course is probably the best fit. Similarly, if you need to just learn the basic then there is a ‘Personal’ option.

Another great tool for learning a language is Duolingo, where no matter what your level; you will find something new to learn. You’ll begin with a test to determine your current level of knowledge for the chosen language – this will allow Duolingo to select the right course based on your skills. Then, you have a range of grammar, vocabulary, listening, speaking and writing tasks and exercises. The course is set out like a game that you can share with your friends. You achieve points for everything you do and if you have friends learning or improving a language on Duolingo, you can also set up your own social network inside the website. And did I tell it’s all free?

You can also find language podcasts on both iTunes and Google Store; n adding these to your phone media library and listening to them on the go will help you with every day practice and increasing your long-term memory. Also, you can listen to podcasts about your area of expertise or local news: The BBC, the Council on Foreign Relations, Radio France Internationale are just three of the numerous services providing podcasts in foreign languages. Listening to news in a foreign language is an excellent way of both learning and remembering a language because the speakers will, most of the time be native speaker using day-to-day words and expressions.

At the same time, if you feel the need to talk in a foreign language, Polyglot is a great medium for that. It connects people from all over the world – people who want to learn and help others. For example, if you are from the UK and you are going to live in Germany, you could help somebody with their English for their help with your German. Or, you could find another ’Polyglotter’ at the same level as you and work together towards learning German. Polyglot is a great way of actually learning to speak the language because it is informal and you can join the community in your spare time without fearing that you might not make it to class.

No matter where you will be living next, your language level, or your available time, by following the above advice you will have all the tools you need to become confident in the language of your new home country. All that is missing is some faith that everything will work out and the realization that great things come to those who emerge themselves in new cultures even if that means stepping outside of one’s comfort zone.



 
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