Lesson Transcript

There are many reasons someone might decide to learn a new language. There are students who study because they are fascinated by the culture. Other learners might want to reconnect with their family history. Yet others might be motivated by the benefits of learning a new skill. Whatever the reason for learning the language, there is one common goal shared by many learners: travel abroad!
Who isn’t excited about traveling abroad and experiencing another culture in the context of a new language? This is a huge dream for many language learners.
Many learners see travel as the ultimate way of learning a language. While we can't say that travel is BAD for your studies, it is important to recognize that visiting a foreign country is not the one-way ticket to fluency many people think it is.
In this video, we will look at the pros and cons of learning language at home and abroad.
First: An unexpected obstacle when studying abroad
There’s a common obstacle that's especially true for native English speakers traveling abroad. Many people you meet will want to try to speak to you in your native language once they realize you’re a foreigner. There are several reasons for this.
The first is out of practicality. As much as you would like to order your meal, buy a bus ticket, or confirm your hotel reservation in the native language to practice, the locals in the tourist industry are likely to respond in English or another more commonly used language. This is because they have a job to do and they don’t necessarily want to take the time to figure out what you’re trying to tell them in their native language. So while you are traveling abroad, be prepared to hear a lot of commonly used languages (like English), especially when sightseeing and participating in tours.
Another reason for all the English speaking is that locals will often jump at the chance to practice their English.
Almost all language learners dream of making friends in a foreign language, but once you get abroad, the reality is often a bit different. Locals will be just as excited to practice their English as you will be to practice your new language. If their skils are stronger than yours, then unless they’re very conscious and patient, their language practice will likely dominate the conversation.
There's also the tendency to hang out with people who are similar to ourselves.
By sheer force of human nature, you will likely find yourself gravitating toward and hanging out with people who speak your native language very well. Oftentimes, the pull of comfort and human connection is stronger than the desire to learn a language. Because of this, you may gradually start spending more and more of your time with people you can communicate with properly at the cost of your new language skills going down the drain.
But now let's look at some reasons why going abroad can be helpful for your studies
It’s not BAD if you’re just beginning with a language and you find yourself overseas.
You’ll probably hear your target language all around you wherever you go. While people might not actually be talking to YOU, all that spoken language will allow you to see firsthand how the language is used on a daily basis.
This will help you hear words and phrases in the context of a conversation, which can be a powerful asset.
Now, some unexpected advantages of learning at home
One of the best reasons to learn a language at home is that it’s a lot easier to keep a regular schedule for your studies.
Traveling is an awesome experience, but there’s not usually a lot of downtime. If it’s your first time overseas, you’re going to want to spend most of your time out and about savoring all the sights and experiences you can. When at home, things are more evenly paced and normal. It’s this consistency that allows you to practice on a regular basis and constantly push your limits in the language.
If you study at home, you also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the language gradually.
Going from zero to sixty as a beginner is a recipe for frustration. At home, you can progress through the language at your own pace. You can go through a textbook or learning program and figure out what works best for you.
A plane ticket abroad isn’t the only way to practice with real-life native speakers.
Try to find native speaker groups in your area or even online. There are many resources available for people wanting to learn a new language and talk to others to practice.
If you’re learning a new language, traveling abroad is an awesome experience, for sure. Just don’t expect a trip to solve all of your language learning difficulties. If learning a new language back at home is tough, doing the same overseas may be just as hard (if not harder, in some ways).
If you’re a beginner, studying at home is a great way to start learning a new language. There are some benefits to it that most learners don’t even think about. Whether you’re headed overseas or studying at home, for even more ways to learn a new language, check out our complete language learning program. Sign up for your free lifetime account by clicking on the link in the description. Get tons of resources to have you speaking in your target language. And if you enjoyed these tips, hit the "like" button, share the video with anyone who's trying to learn a new language, and subscribe to our channel. We release new videos every week! I'll see you next time. Bye!