One effective way to learn a language is by immersing yourself in it as much as possible. Ideally this will involve spending some time in a country or region where the language you’re learning is spoken. If you are in such a place, you will make more rapid progress if you try to use the foreign language as much as possible and avoid using your native language, except when absolutely necessary.

Many people who live abroad try to learn the local language. Some succeed, others only acquire a basic knowledge of it. The latter group tend to spend a lot of time speaking their native language with people from their own country, or from other countries that speak that language. They might also make friends with locals who speak their language. While it can be tempting to do this, if you want to learn the local language well, you need to use it as much as possible. One way you could do this would be to try speaking only the local language for a certain period of time – a week, a month or longer. Even if you struggle to express yourself in that language, make lots of mistakes, get frustrated and feel tempted to fall back on your mother tongue, it’s worth persevering as the more you practise using the language, the more your proficiency will improve. It helps if you seek out people who don’t speak your native language as you have to use their language to talk to them.

The key is to keep practising and focus on communication. Don’t worry too much about making mistakes or looking foolish, but ask people to correct your worst mistakes and learn from those corrections.