Moving to a new city can be a challenging affair. New faces and new places can certainly overwhelm even the most resilient of us. Especially if you’re trying to learn a language and are scared of losing the progress you’ve worked so hard to attain. Getting speaking practice is arguably the most important part of acquiring any language, so keeping up with it is vital for your success.
Here are top 5 ways for you to get speaking practice in your target language even when moving to a new city.
#5 – Keep in contact
Moving doesn’t necessarily mean losing touch with all of the people you’ve made friends with in your previous city. While in-person practice is certainly preferable because of the non-linguistic cues you can get from your speaking partner, having the occasional Zoom or Skype call for practice will do in a pinch.
#4 – Go online
Of course, if you’re already having conversations online, finding speaking partners becomes a lot easier. So, even if you don’t have many friends to practice your language skills with, finding someone looking to brush up on their conversation is a simple task. Check out websites like Conversation Exchange or Facebook groups for your target language to find people to practise with.
#3 – Get out of town
This applies to people who live in cities where their language is natively spoken. Despite that sounding like an excellent way to get your speaking practice in daily, big cities also tend to be multicultural and it’s very likely that locals will revert to English once they realise you’re struggling with your language skills. While it might be quicker to switch to a language that you’re more comfortable in, that attitude certainly doesn’t help you improve your speaking skills.
If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s time to get out of town. Visiting the countryside or even simply smaller towns is an almost sure-fire way of finding people who don’t share their big-city counterparts’ enthusiasm for switching to English (or another lingua franca).
This type of total immersion might be a scary prospect to face, it’s certainly going to help you with your speaking skills.
#2 – Make new friends in language exchange
A less scary, but almost equally effective way, of both getting your practice while making friends at the same time is to participate in any of the great language exchanges that take place in any and all bigger cities. If your target language is particularly obscure, you might need to revert to the online plan, but for the most common languages, it’s almost certain that you’d find an exchange that caters to your needs.
Not only is this a wonderful way of learning your language, it will also help you feel more comfortable in your new city.
#1 – Get a teacher to help you
Of course, the most foolproof and simplest way to get your language practice in is to simply enrol in a course or take private lessons with a qualified teacher. Not only do you see the fastest progress, you’re able to tailor your learning to your own particular needs and goals. In most cities, you’re able to find a teacher who can travel to your location and fit your schedule. While language courses certainly provide the cheaper option, a private teacher offers flexibility that is hard to beat.
Fluency in your target language can only come through continued practice and dedication. Continuing with your studies even when you move is paramount for your long-term success. Luckily, most places will provide you with enough options for getting your speaking practice face-to-face. Language exchanges, travelling to less-travelled destinations, and a private teacher are all excellent ways to keep improving. But, if all else fails, the Internet can certainly provide you with the opportunity to find someone to practice with.