When you study abroad, you’re exposed to different cultures all the time and incorporating new words in everyday conversations can be a difficult task – especially if you don’t know the roots (source or etymology) of words. It is true that there is no substitute to taking a course in language when you study overseas, but there may be a chance of reaching near perfection in pronunciations and dialect by keeping in mind the following simple things –
1. Identify your learning style
Here’s an interesting bit of information. Cognitive psychologists and Education Counsellors have identified the common methods we employ when learning anything new. Any behaviour associated with learning can be identified as – Social, Visual, Aural and Kinaesthetic. We learn by all these methods, but it may be possible to find a certain learning behaviour be more heightened than the others in a person. Education Counsellors say social learning occurs by observation (for example, children may pick up slang words and may use it often just like the elders). Visual learning happens by the sense of vision, for instance, you sometimes remember how words a supposed to look like as opposed to how you expect to be reading (that’s one of the reasons proof readers never skip an erroneously spelt world, not by checking each and every spelling, but using their sense of sight about how words are supposed to appear in a sentence). Aural learners, of course use their sense of hearing for learning and kinaesthetic learners depend on movement (which are rhythmic more often than not) for learning faster.
If you identify your learning style, you’d be able to learn anything quickly and recall more efficiently, making your study abroad experience so much better!
2. Put your smartphone to good use when you study overseas
Your smartphone has a bunch of apps that can make learning a new language a relatively easy job. We are surrounded by choices and options that didn’t exist a decade ago and our smartphones is one of them. Education counsellors recommend installing a language app in your phone and practise words on any coffee break. All you have to make sure is you are consistent with giving a few spare minutes to this exercise every day when you study abroad.
Also read: Appearing for SAT? Download These Apps!
3. Begin by skipping synonyms
Yes, this is true. Most languages have a couple of hundreds of words that are used for spoken conversation. Education Counsellors say the rest of the thesaurus is only for the time you’ve become fluent. To begin with, learn the most commonly used words in homes and the supermarket when you study overseas. Also, pay special attention to filler words like “umm, ‘eh, like” that are peculiar to every language. These words will help you gain time to find new words and you won’t appear like you’re being lost in the middle of a conversation when you study abroad.
Tip – Never underestimate the power of rhyming words! It may sound strange to you now, but if you can rhyme new words with the existing ones you know, it may give you pneumonic cues to memorise and re-call better. Don’t be shy to give it a tune, we hope these tips help you learn soon!