How To Survive A Post-Trip Language Hangover
One of the main reasons most of us learn a new language is so that we can eventually use it. Hours spent pouring over conjugations and memorizing vocabulary is all aimed at a single goal: to be able to carry out a conversation in real-life situations. Usually, being able to use that foreign language overseas is an exciting experience. You often discover that you know more than you previously thought, and a trip abroad can really help you hone the skills you already have and pick up new ones. Once you get back home though, you may find yourself feeling a little lost in your language studies. You know you have to keep forging ahead, but it’s hard to get a sense that you’re still progressing after the excitement of applying it with native speakers on a daily basis. If you’ve just returned from a successful trip abroad and find yourself lagging a bit in your language learning, read on to discover some great tips to get over that language hump!
Give it a rest, will ya?
Maneuvering through situations which require you to use a language that is not your native one require an intense amount of mental gymnastics, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you come back from your trip abroad feeling a little lackluster and deflated. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling a shortage of motivation following a successful trip and you shouldn’t push yourself to jump straight back into your usual schedule of language learning. Let your brain take a break! If you start taking classes as soon as you get back, you’ll probably find it harder to retain new information, which is why a little vacation from your vacation is absolutely necessary if you want your brain to function to its full potential. A couple weeks should revamp your mind and have you feeling refreshed and ready to get back to your language studies!
The proof is in the pudding.
Once you’re ready to start up your language classes again, you will probably feel pretty eager about practicing the new skills you’ve acquired overseas. And you should! What you shouldn’t do is go back to the same old learning methods you were using before heading on your trip. Experts say that one of the keys to successful language learning is to change the materials you use and the way you use them on a semi-frequent basis, and there’s no better time to do just that than after you return from abroad! Ask your tutor to come up with some new study options for you and give different podcasts, language websites, music, and books a try. Since you’ll be coming back to your language learning with a fresh outlook, you’ll want to have some new material to keep your brain active and excited about your continued language learning journey!
Slower than molasses.
Something you may find yourself experiencing after a successful trip overseas is a sense that you aren’t making very much progress in your language learning. This is to be expected and not something that should frustrate you. After all, when you are engaging daily with native speakers and completely immersed in the language, your language abilities tend to experience a rather large growth spurt. You’ll gain confidence, improve your diction, and become comfortable with grammar and vocabulary you once considered impossible to learn. Coming down off of a high like that can leave you feeling like you aren’t seeing much improvement in the aftermath, but this is simply not true. Although your progress may feel non-existent, it’s still happening! Accept that you may not be improving at as rapid a pace as you did abroad, but you are slowly but surely cementing new, more complex skills which will make your next trip even more fantastic than the last!
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Taking a trip to a country where the language you’ve been studying is spoken can give you a whole new appreciation not only for the tongue itself, but the culture, food, and locals. A journey overseas is a linguistic journey and you’ll find yourself awed by the connections you can draw between the things you learn in the classroom and real-life situations. Even more important, a trip overseas should give you a greater passion for the language and make you want to learn and improve even more. So don’t let the vacation blue get you down and keep on keeping on!
What are some of the ways you get over a post-trip language hangover? Share your tips with us!