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The ABCs of Learning a new language

If you are moving to a foreign country that has a native language other than English, or you are naturally drawn to linguistic learning, there are myriad ways to learn a new language. Whether you are a visual, auditory, experiential or tactile learner, you will surely find a modality below to help immerse yourself in a new language and culture.
A great way to learn a new language is the immersion approach. Travelling to a destination where your desired language is spoken and living with residents who speak the language (and possibly a bit of English to help you along the way) is an excellent way to develop your language skills. Many people love the experience of immersing themselves in a foreign culture with no other option then to embrace and navigate the new language each day. Homestay programmes, paired with language schools or one-on-one tutors, have proven to be the quickest way to learn a new language. Websites such as Language Vacation help aspiring travellers find homestays in countries throughout the world, with host families on board to help with the language immersion.
There are a myriad of ways to learn a new language.
Language School
If you learn well in an environment with others, then a language school in your hometown or city is a good way to develop language skills before you embark abroad. A quick Google search will reveal language schools in your region, and if you’re in a larger city you will likely have your pick of study modes including evening classes, intensive courses and fulltime language programs. Often language schools teach the fundamental grammar and verb conjugations which will provide you with a strong foundation to build conversational language skills.
Online Courses
The Internet is inundated with online language courses starting from inexpensive courses from sites like Udemy, and online podcast series and web courses offering hundreds of language courses across different formats and styles. Rosetta Stone, which was once only a CD-Rom series of language courses, is now available with an online subscription. Babbel is an online language website offering language courses across 14 different languages. Users can download their course, listen and learn via Podcast on their mobile device anytime, and the programme even has a built in speech recognition functionality that helps improve pronunciation.
Online courses are ideal if you’re looking to learn a language but don’t have the time to attend a language school or travel overseas to do so. They are flexible, versatile and functional- a great option for tech savvy individuals and people who are accustomed to communicating and learning through computers and mobile devices.
Leaning the language of your new home country will go along way to helping you settle into life there.
Audio CDs/videos
Audio CDs and videos that can be purchased online or in stores allow you the flexibility of progressing through a course at your own pace, in the comfort of your living room, on public transportation or on a beach in Spain. This is an excellent option for those who prefer to practice in privacy and who like to take their learning with them wherever they go (Wi-Fi or not).
Find a Language Buddy
Community noticeboards and social media are a great place to find language buddies to practice and learn a new language with. If you can find someone who speaks your desired language and who is also looking to learn English, it can form a great reciprocal partnership. Meeting for coffee and practising conversations in your language of study is an ideal way to prepare for the real deal. This is an excellent option for social and extroverted people who learn best in an interactive and conversational format.
Having at least a basic command of the language of your host country is highly recommended, especially if you intend to find employment or make new friends. Learning a new language before you move overseas will give you a head start and build your confidence, enabling better assimilation into the new culture. Depending on your time, budget and learning preferences, there are plenty of options to learn a new language.