A foreign language class provides you with a unique learning environment which you’re unlikely to find outside the classroom. People are generally too polite to correct you and there is no guarantee that people will force you to practice specific vocabulary or structures. The problem with class is that it is rarely enough on its own to help you reach the level of fluency you desire. So, in addition to classes, you should consider doing a series of activities to help you practice the language.
The more you expose yourself to the language you’re learning, the better. Consider the following modifications to your life that you could make in order to continue improving your English outside the classroom:
- Tuenti/Facebook – You probably have one or both. Are they in English? If not, why not? It’s an easy way to learn vocabulary like “log in”, “news feed” and “upload”.
- Phone – If you have a smartphone, it can be put in any number of languages. Many phones also automatically download any apps in the language that your phone is set to. This forces you to read in that language. If you’re able to read this blog, you should have no problem using your phone in English. Besides, you can always switch it back if you get lost. Since cell phones are capable of doing any number of things these days, it is an opportunity to learn vocabulary in various fields.
- Books – If you like reading, you should consider reading books in English. If you read the newspaper, you can often read the same kinds of stories but in English instead of Spanish if you look for them. In fact, many books were probably written in English originally anyway.
It’s always easier to do everything in your native language but if you immerse yourself as much as possible in the language you’re learning when you don’t need to, you will be even more prepared when you actually need it.
Head of Studies