17emilyhalko

Traveling to a different country to learn a language

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How helpful is traveling to a foreign country to learn a language? I'm currently learning Spanish and am considering going to Spain during my Easter break. However, the trip obviously would be very expensive. I have never been out of the United States, but want to go. Do you all think that it would be worth it to travel to Spain, despite the cost? Does anybody have any experiences learning a language in a different country? Did you improve a lot?

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Immersion might b the answer to learning a language quickly because you learn by listening and speaking. Pretty much the way kids learn their mother tongue. However you may need to live abroad for about a year so before you leave for Spain try to find out if you can find a temp job because you might need it if you'll be staying there that long. If you can't my advice would be to find language exchange partners and chat with them via Skype.

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I have been in Spain last month, it's a very nice place to be.
The flight tickets and apartment were quite cheap, but that's because I live in Europe and thus it's way closer by for me than it is for you.
But once in Spain, you'll find that supermarket stuff can be surprisingly cheap and good too.
Best is to avoid most restaurants however, a lot of them serve food with fat and in some places the warm food might be too cold or the cold food might be too warm (all of which is very unhealthy!).

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Hi Emily,

I believe going to another country is the very best way to learn a language. When I was living abroad for 1.5 years I actually started dreaming in the other language. I believe there is no way to learn a language as well as being in the actual country. I recently came back from this amazing place in Austria, and while I only stayed for 2 weeks, I feel like it helped me a lot more than studying at home. I would say go for it. Spain is a very pretty place to be either way :)

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I believe that is the best way of learning a language, when you travel abroad to the country that speaks that language. It may seem daunting at first and you will feel shy and maybe afraid of doing it but you definitely should if you have the chance. For example there are many people that don't do it because they don't have the means, and others don't do it because they feel afraid. If you can and have the opportunity you should go for it. It will give you the best experience you could have learning a language since you will be surrounded by natives all day.

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I believe it's the only way to learn a language. One can start out with textbooks and a teacher but to be in a country communicating is taking it a step further. I did that with English when I went to the US. My advice though. Place yourself in an environment, where you are NOT able to speak your native language. Which means, travelling alone. And I really recommend to place yourself into a Spanish home. AirBNB is a great place to find what you are looking for. There are always rooms available with family contact. So you HAVE to communicate and in addition get a lot of the culture the same time.

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I do think immersion helps a lot but I don't know if it would do much when time spent is limited. I have had a lot of foreigner friends in my country and a lot of them took years before they were comfortable enough just mixing in a few local words and phrases but mostly we still communicated in English. That's just anecdotal though and it might be completely different in your case as we all learn differently.

 

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I think this works. I learned my Thai by living in Thailand. It's easy for me because Thailand is only an hour's drive from where I used to live. When you live in the country where the language you want to learn is spoken by the natives, everything falls in place naturally. You can see how the language works in context. There are many words which cannot be explained fully in a dictionary. You have to see the words being used to understand their full meaning. If you cannot move to another country to learn their language, the next best thing is to find a community in your own country where that language is spoken by the people in the community. Considering that there is now a lot more mobility in labor, this may not be too hard to find. Take Thai, for example. I am now back in my own country. However, if I wish to, I can always go and look for places where Thai immigrant workers live and practice my Thai with them.

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I would like you to suggest to join some institute to learn the language instead of going to the different country just to learn the language. 

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You should definitely go to a Spanish-speaking country to learn Spanish!  I am from Ohio, and have studied Spanish at high school.  However, in the 2 years I have been here my Spanish has progressed MUCH more rapidly.  Plus- there are other factors to consider when learning a new language- stuff that is very different from what you will learn in a controlled environment such as a classroom. Confidence, courage, recovering from making mistakes, embarrassment, accents, colloquilaisms...etc! But if you are concerned about the cost of going to Spain- go to South America!  Or even California!  So many Spanish speakers for you to make friends with :)

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