Often times, real-life interactions don’t necessarily follow what we’ve learnt in our language textbooks to the tee. On top of the cultural and societal nuances that escape the pen and paper, having actual conversations with native speakers require a lot of thinking and dialogue manoeuvring that aren’t exactly taught through these texts. It’s one of the most challenging parts of language learning and implementation; and whilst it’s difficult, it’s also attainable.
So how does one step away from the language textbooks to real-life interactions? These tips will tell you how.
Reach Out To A Tutor
Despite the upsurge in language learning tools and resources made avail online and offline for independent study, engaging with an experienced tutor is still one of the best approaches when learning a foreign language. Not only is the learning curated to fit your preferences, but you are also more likely to commit to regular practice time. Having a physical class with a tutor to guide you through the lessons will make you hold accountability for your own learning; thus, motivating you to make the best out of the class. Moreover, the tutor can coach you through the nitty-gritty of the spoken foreign language, smoothing out the edges often left rough by textbooks.
Naturally, you’d also want to find a tutor that is not only experienced, but also one that suits your learning and budget. Some tutors use a comprehensive lesson structure whilst others opt for a more conversational approach. Ultimately, it’s an investment of both your time and money, so you’d want to find a tutor that aligns the goals you wish to achieve. Apart from reading the reviews and the like, you can also try out for trial lessons to test whether you like how the language schools approach learning.
Link Up With Native Speakers
Reaching out to a credible language school is an excellent approach, no doubt, but perhaps you want to take one step further. What better way to brush up your conversational skills than to interact with native speakers? The beauty of the Internet is that it provides an accessible avenue for people from all sorts of backgrounds to gather and connect. Be part of communities and make friends with individuals who don’t mind helping you out with your language acquisition.
That said, bear in mind that this approach carries the risk of not being professionally treated and in some cases, you may even get distorted meanings and variations that are imbued with cultural and societal context. Thus, it’s recommended that this approach serves as a supplement for the lessons you’ve already enrolled prior.
Listen And Watch More
So you’ve acquired the tools to speak and have people to talk to, the next step is to amass content. You can do this by consuming content that’s relevant to the country, its culture, society and the like. Suppose you want to learn Japanese, you can consume their entertainment media such as anime and Japanese dramas. You can also incorporate podcasts in your learning to keep abreast of all things Japanese.
Now that you have the content, you can put the lessons to use and have an engaging conversation with the native speakers in your community!
Whilst language textbooks are no doubt imperative in your learning; unfortunately, they’re just not enough. There’s no other way to go about implementing what you’ve learnt in real-life situations except to practise your skills with actual individuals. Take the first step by engaging with a professional tutor.
At Japanese Explorer, our experienced native Japanese tutors are here to help you reach your desired mastery level – both on paper and real-life situations. So enrol in our Japanese classes, and you’d be able to flaunt your Japanese skills soon enough!