May 14, 2010

Foreign Language Classes

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Foreign language classes are either very exciting or leave little to be desired. Most people would say this “fun factor” depends on the mixture of students in the classroom and the teacher’s personality. While these things may or may not be true, one thing experts agree on is that the target language should be learned in its native setting. The most profitable tool to a language learner is the opportunity to be surrounded by native speakers and essentially be forced (in a positive way) to use the target language. So how does one achieve this without signing up for university or work exchange programs? Good guess, it is time for a vacation!

International Projects offers language holidays abroad to get the most out of foreign language classes. To be honest, spending time abroad is not only enjoyable, but it is the best way to tackle a new language. Taking a class while on vacation adds a considerable amount of “practical application”. As soon as class is over there are fewer opportunities to revert back to there learner’s native language. Instead they are challenged to speak the target language with locals. Not to say that foreign language classes at home are not beneficial, they are. However in order to really grasp a language, and use it in the future, spending time abroad is the best option available. Plus it provides a whole new level of homework- how about enjoying a night out or relaxing all afternoon instead of p. 75, #2, 3, and 4?

So, when looking to enrol in foreign language classes look for something that reaches beyond the traditional textbook and speaking exercises. Consider a program where language development is key, but enjoying the local atmosphere is just as important. For goodness sakes, take a break and go on vacation!