It has been far too long since I last did a lost about languages. So without further ado, here are 5 Ways to increase your speaking language proficiency without leaving the Country.
I would argue that speaking (and listening) are the most important components of language learining because we use spoken language everyday to communicate and even talk to ourselves. However, in many countries where English is readily used, the speaking portion of language learning is not always focused on as much as it should be.
Many language learners will have heard ‘Your language proficiency increases so much when you live in the country.!’ or ‘In order to be fluent you have to have lived in the country for X amount of time!’ Whilst these statements may be true, there are ways that you can improve and practice these skills without leaving your home country. They may not put you at a fluent level but they certainly help you on your journey there.
- Dine in an authentic restaurant of the language you are learning. This is expensive to do frequently but if you get the chance to do it every so often, it is a great opportunity. For example, I like to Italian restaurants such as Piccolinos because they have staff from Italy. This gives me the opportunity to speak with people in Italian and improve my speaking skills. Furthermore, I get to learn more about their culture and experiences. Also, there’s a sense of more respect for one another because it shows that you’re interested in something personal to them.
- Skype. There are plenty of websites where language learners come together to practice one another’s language. It can be done anywhere at anytime in your own time. You may even make a friend for life. It’s free and is a great way to practice speaking the language of your choice.
- Look for a language exchange partner. This is a good opportunity to make friends with foreign people as well as learn about each other’s cultures face to face. Moreover, it’s cheaper and less pressure than language classes or courses. This is different from Skype is that you get the opportunity to speak to people in real life which makes for a more realistic situation. This is probably easier in bigger cities which attracts expats from various countries. There are plenty of websites such offer these services. For example Coversation Exchange or Language For Exchange.
- Go to your nearest language centre. Again this is probably more useful in a biggest city. My city us quite big so there are plenty of places to learn a few languages. Nevertheless if you’re willing to travel, all the better. Languagee centres are amazing because they offer courses, classes, you can borrow books and films, there are sometimes, films nights and other festivals and events. Centres such as The Confucius Institute (Chinese), The Alliance Française (French), The Deutsch Centre (German) and El Instituto Cervantes (Spanish).
- If you attend formal language lessons (night classes or if you’re still in school/college), take advantage of every resource. When I say formal language lesson, I mean in a classroom with a teacher etc. As far as I’m aware the majority, if not all language lessons are taught in English. I suppose this is great for the language learner but it keeps you in your comfort zone too much. When languages are taught in English, you think in English about the language you’re learning which can hinder your progress (sometimes). To make the most of your lessons try and speak the language as much as you can. For example:
- When you have a question to ask the teacher or even your classmates, ask in the language you’re learning. Questions like, ‘Please can you repeat the question?’, ‘What does that/this mean?’
- Meet up with your classmates outside of class. Practice speaking with one another and correct each other’s mistakes.
- Ask the teacher for advise or even extra language hours.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! It’s okay if you get things wrong. It may feel a little embarrassing at first but it’s not big deal because you’re still learning.
All of these tips I have used and I find that they’re effective and help me progress in my language learning. I hope that you can use these too and that they give you some inspiration.