How to Learn a New Language While Traveling

If you’re one of those traveling nomads who are ready to go the extra mile to learn a language abroad, here are a few tips on how you can actually make it work. 

Ryan Pell

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People all over the globe are getting ready to travel. According to the poll posted by PR Newswire, only 4% of people don’t plan to go anywhere abroad in 2022, even if it’s around their home countries. 

These results make us wonder – why do people want to travel in the first place?

Well, for some, it’s about going on vacation; others want to finally visit their families. But some people won’t deny that they travel because they want to experience new cultures and learn a new language, in particular. 

If you’re one of those traveling nomads who are ready to go the extra mile to learn a language abroad, here are a few tips on how you can actually make it work. 

Create Situations Where You Have to Speak the Language

What do you feel when you start speaking a foreign language? Excitement? Confidence? Encouragement?

Unfortunately, you will experience none of these feelings. On the contrary, your self-worth will be at its lowest. 

According to the study involving 138 Ecuadorian students learning English, they went through the whole range of emotions:

  • 30% had a fear of making a mistake

  • 21.8% felt they were judged by others

  • 12.5% lacked confidence

  • 2.6% had anxiety

Is there a way to put yourself at ease when speaking a foreign language?

We’ll be honest – no, but you can program your mind to understand every failure as a lesson. You need to willingly create situations that will force you into speaking a language. For example, visit a local shop asking for a loaf of baguette in French when in Paris.

What if a person doesn’t understand you?

Ask them to correct your language. It also helps to share that your speaking skills are not good yet. Rest assured – no one will judge you. On the contrary, people will appreciate your effort. 

Read also: 5 apps to practice languages with native speakers

Go Hard on the Language Learning Apps

You can’t drag around a bunch of books while traveling (except if you’re ready to pay for extra luggage weight). And why do that if you have a smartphone that can store all your language learning materials? 

Language learning apps are one of the best options to carry on mastering a foreign language when you’re on the go. They have lessons ready for all proficiency levels, from Beginner to Advanced. 

But which one should you choose?

Here’s the list of the best language learning apps to save you some time:

  • Preply

  • Duolingo

  • Memrise

  • Speakly

  • HelloTalk

  • HiNative

  • Drops

Improving your knowledge of a language with these apps is effective and a lot of fun. But there’s one thing you should remember – without consistency, there won’t be any results. So, make sure to set aside at least 15 minutes a day to practice your skills. 

Keep Track of Your Successes and Failures

Mastering a language is a rocky road – it’s very easy to forget a new word and make a grammatical mistake when your head is stuffed with too much information. 

So, what’s the way out?

Writing down your progress can help a ton if you’re trying to become more confident in your language skills. Research also suggests that journaling improves working memory, meaning that you will be able to memorize far more words. 

What is the right way to keep track of your failures and successes?

It’s enough to start with a few notes about how you spent your day. For example, you’ve listened to a language learning podcast and learned a few words. It also helps to write down the associations you have with these words – they help build a mental image of a situation where you could use a new word. 

What about failures?

The most important thing is not to punish yourself for a mistake. Note it down in your journal and try to figure out a reason why you made a mistake in the first place. 

Wrapping Up

Learning languages while traveling seems like a lot of fun, while in reality, it’s a ton of work. You have to get ready for continuous self-improvement and commit to a foreign language lesson a day. 

Also, be prepared to experience stress – there’s no way around it. So, battle your fears, put yourself in situations where you have to practice speaking, and keep track of your progress with a journal. Using apps can also help along the way, just make sure you schedule lessons consistently. 

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