A Guide to Learning a Language

Teaching yourself before your move can be a good idea so that you can practice your newly developed language skills as soon as you arrive.

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Although learning a language can be quite time consuming and at times frustrating, it can be an extremely valuable asset  when moving overseas and will help you settle in to your new home.Teaching yourself before your move can be a good idea so that you can practice your newly developed language skills as soon as you arrive. There are many books, cd-roms, cds, websites and podcasts around which you can use to devise your own study program. Many of these resources are free, you should be able to borrow books from your local library and also access language websites quite easily.

Enrolling on a course, particularly one with a certificate or qualification included can be useful for people who prefer to learn with a specific goal to work towards.  It can also be beneficial to those who find studying alone difficult and of course you will get a chance to practice speaking the language with your classmates and teacher.  You can participate in a course at a dedicated language school or an evening class run by your local council. Many colleges and universities also offer language courses.

When you arrive at your new destination, immerse yourself as much as you can. This can be done by watching TV, making an effort to talk to people in shops and restaurants and getting involved in local events and activities. Although uncomfortable at first, it is the best way to improve your language proficiency. A language exchange may be useful, many colleges and universities have noticeboards where you can get contact details for people looking to practice their language skills.

It is also advisable when moving overseas to research local customs and traditions.  This is important even in countries which you perceive to have a similar culture to your native country.  There may be subtle differences which you are unaware of. This information can usually be found in travel guides or on travel etiquette websites.

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