An intensive language course in a foreign country is a good alternative to traditional courses in your own country. On a language trip, you can combine your holiday with the benefits by testing yourself and practicing your language skills directly in the language environment.
Anyone who has been polishing their language skills in the language environment agrees that even during a short period of self-development, language use becomes smoother.
What happens to us in the language environment?
- We will overcome our fears.
This is probably the biggest difference between learning in school and in the language environment. In compulsory language classes, we learn words, do some role plays, put together dialogs for developing conversations, and solve grammatical exercises in writing. When learning in the language environment, we need to speak the language itself, right from the first day of the course. Otherwise, we feel isolated. After all, there is no other common language with the other learners than the language that you are learning together. In the case of group learning, all learners have the same language level. After the first effort to be involved in the conversation on the given topic, we note that despite the grammatical mistakes we are able to overcome ourselves. Thoughts will be conveyed. Over time, the fear of communicating in a foreign language disappears, and we can say that we can keep up the conversation in the language we are learning.
- We learn a foreign language like children – in a natural way.
It is not difficult for small children to acquire a foreign language. They listen carefully; they record everything in their memory, which is like a sponge. Then, they start communicating. Adults should also behave like this. Being in the language environment helps the language learner to bring their brain to the level of a toddler and to then immediately start communicating.
- While staying in a language environment, we learn how the language is actually used in everyday situations.
When we are in a language environment, the language we are learning is everywhere around us. And this is not the language of the textbook, but the language that lives and that people really use for talking. We will get acquainted with new slang words and idioms that the locals use when cracking a joke and what jokes actually make them laugh. Not all this is taught by a foreign language textbook. While spending time with the locals outside the classroom, we also hear how they pronounce words, their intonation, how they pass on emotions with the body language, and with what expressions accompany.
I do not argue that studying a foreign language in your home country in the classroom is not beneficial. Rather, it is even advisable to prepare yourself in the local language school before going to a language learning trip.
Of course, not all language lovers can travel to the language environment to improve their language skills. In this case, I recommend creating a language immersion environment around you – find a person who speaks the language as a native language and use every occasion to communicate with him or her. Follow foreign media – watch movies in the original language, listen to the radio and to songs, read news articles and write out unknown words and translate them for yourself.
We wish success in improving your language proficiency and in discovering new cultural aspects in the language environment. Multilingua Language Center, in cooperation with its partner schools in Russia, Malta, and England, helps you to book a language learning trip.