By Tom Limmer (Instructor)
Most people will tell you that the best way to become truly proficient in a new language is to spend time in a country where that language is spoken. I find this to be generally true. The mere fact that you are living somewhere new requires you to adapt to differences – including the language. Going out, ordering food, and meeting people all suddenly become moments to practice the language you want to learn. Everyday activities like these could not be simulated in a classroom, so take advantage of them! These opportunities will not be available when you go home.
It is important to realize, however, that living abroad does not automatically mean you will become proficient in a new language. Fluency requires active engagement. Many language-learners are shy or afraid to make mistakes with their new language. Don’t be! This is part of the process and the only way to learn. Also, make an effort to interact with speakers of the language you are learning. Again, they won’t be around once you leave.
I hope this will encourage you to make the most of your immersive language experience. And for MLC students, we offer the opportunity to connect with native English speakers in the community. Email our Student Affairs Coordinator, Eric Kwong (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information!