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5.00 Dollar US$ Three Steps to Learning a Foreign Language Athens

Published date: March 29, 2021
  • Location: Athens, Athens, Georgia, United States

When it comes to learning a new language, these three practical steps will pave your way to fluency quickly and effectively.
Learning a new language is about forcing yourself to be dedicated and brave; brave enough to live abroad, brave enough to branch out of expat communities and live with the locals. It's also important to discipline yourself in gaining a basic understanding of the grammatical backbone of the language.

Tip from Essay Help On Time editors: Most importantly being brave enough to take these steps will make your learning fun and unforgettable experience.

Visit the Motherland

It sounds painfully obvious, but the best thing you can do to learn a language is to go and live in a country or region where that language is spoken. Of course, this may not be a possibility for everyone, in which case, a short visit or holiday will also do wonders for your language skills.

Immersing yourself in the culture, local dialects and accents will force your subconscious to start soaking up those brilliant nuggets of information that will aid your lexical understanding without you even realizing it.

For example, when living in Madrid, Spain, I was walking in the beautiful El Retiro Park one day when it started to rain. I heard someone shout for a paraguas (umbrella). It was only then that the etymology of the word suddenly dawned on me: para, meaning "for" and aguas, meaning "waters". All of a sudden the Spanish word for "umbrella" made much more sense than the English word.

Live With the Locals

Once you arrive, living with natives is key. You may be able to set this up before you leave through contacts at local churches, NGOs or charities. If you can't afford to pay rent, you may be able to negotiate a language exchange, teaching English in exchange for board and lodging. Either way it's a win-win situation for both parties.

The beauty of living with a group of natives, whether a family or other lodgers, is that you will have a unique window into the country's culture as well as a group of ready-made language teachers. It's important to be brave and ideally live with a group of natives who don't speak any English; this will force you to pick up their language quicker than you otherwise would.

Take Language Classes

Again, another painfully obvious point but taking language classes before and/or during your stay is invaluable.

It's easy to fall into the trap of believing you can waft through your time abroad, soaking up the language subconsciously. To a point this is true but a solid understanding of the basic grammatical rules of a language will dramatically accelerate your learning. Ideally, you'll have some grounding in the basics before your time abroad but if not there's no need to panic. Your phrase book will become your new best friend.

Again, if budget is an issue and language classes before your time abroad are unfeasible, investigate your local community for anyone that speaks the language you hope to learn (look online as well as posting an ad in the local store). You could offer them a value exchange. For example, if you're a dab hand in the kitchen, offer to cook for them in exchange for tuition. Alternatively, you may have more practical skills; perhaps they need help with some gardening or painting.

If your teacher/value exchange partner is native to the country you are visiting, they may also be a useful source of contacts for you to befriend once you're out there.

Most importantly being brave enough to take these steps will make your learning experience fun, opening up a new world of food, drink and pleasure that you didn't even know existed.

Resource for this guide: Essay Help Online.

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