Jump to content
Linguaholic

Traveling to a different country to learn a language


Recommended Posts

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?

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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!).

Link to post
Share on other sites

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 :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

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 :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

Hi,

It will work if you will stay there for a while. Not only will you learn the language, but the culture as well. I think the best way to really get a grasp of a foreign language is to mingle with the locals and experience their culture. There are so many things you can learn from it that will not be thought on any foreign language course. It will be really costly though, I mean aside from plane tickets, there's hotel and meals. I agree with Anita, if you're worried about the cost, you may want to consider learning it from your Spanish-speaking friends or somewhere with a huge Latin community.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...
  • 4 months later...

Well, if you are learning Spanish, it is important to first determine whether you want to master the dialect from Spain or Latin America. As for vocabulary and grammar, I believe you can do that from anywhere in the world and there is no need to travel to a Spanish-speaking country. Chances are, most speakers do not follow grammar rules in their speech. However, for listening and speaking skills Spanish-speaking countries can help you a lot to overcome the speaking barrier and you will train your ear to fast-paced speech. So, if you want to become fluent both on paper and in person, my best advice would be to study first the grammar and vocabulary basics at home and then travel to advance your skills with native speakers. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted my last thing 4 years ago when I had no experience living in a different country other than where I was born in.
But now I have, so I'll put it this way.

There is a big difference between learning a language while travelling a different country and learning a language while living in a different country.
When you travel you will only need to speak the language full time during the time you're travelling, which an average person does for between 3 and 14 days depending on the distance from your home country.
This amount of time is way too short in most cases.
From my own experience, you can learn to read, write, and listen very easily from your home country, but speaking is going to be anal if you don't have any means of having a voice-based conversation with a native speaker (which can be a challenge for most east Asian languages due to the shyness of most people).

But now that Japan is my new home country, I'm surrounded with the language 24/7 over the past 2 years, so I can listen quite well nowadays.

At the very beginning I lived in Tokyo, then I moved to the Chiba prefecture with only a few minutes away from Tokyo.
Therefore, most people will talk to you in English whenever they see a white guy unless you explicitely ask to speak Japanese or pretend to not understand English.
Plus all signs and announcements being bilingual is also not going to help.

Since recently I'm living still in the Chiba prefecture, but much further away from Tokyo, and most things are written in Japanese only, and people around me are also much more likely to speak Japanese from the very start.
Plus due to the CCP virus outbreak and the fact that no foreigners can enter the country now even though you have a valid residency status or even permanent residency (only those that have been here before the ban are allowed to stay), I feel like people are more likely to consider white face and black face people as part of society now, as tourists are all gone so it makes sense that the only people left can all speak Japanese to some extend.
So if you chose to live in the country of your target language, it's good to know that you should live in a place that isn't tourist heavy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

Traveling to another country to learn the language is helpful to improve all your skills, listening, speaking, or pronunciation. To absolve all the information necessary to develop all the skills successfully, you need to be in the country for 3 months minimum. Experience the culture and be around locals will help you as a foreigner.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Prix VB said:

Traveling to another country to learn the language is helpful to improve all your skills, listening, speaking, or pronunciation. To absolve all the information necessary to develop all the skills successfully, you need to be in the country for 3 months minimum. Experience the culture and be around locals will help you as a foreigner.

3 months is generally the maximum for short term stays most countries provide to citizens of developed countries (often less for citizens of developing countries).
So unless you're talking about something like a work holiday visa (which technically is still a residency status), or you're going on a nomadic lifestyle of constant border hopping (or you're a citizen of a EU state and stay in another EU state), you'd probably not be able to achieve a stay of more than 3 months in a single country.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Great theme :)
I would definitely add that when you are traveling as a tourist or as someone who has to adapt to life in another country. These are very different things.
If you're going to solve problems, go to work and look for new people - and you are an immigrant. These are the most effective conditions for language learning. Well, at least in my experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...