Preparing for an Immersion Program
Studying at a language school abroad is one of the best ways to improve your language skills. To get the best results, you should prepare yourself before you leave. Below a few good ideas to get you started:
No matter your level, building a vocabulary before you come is critical. In order to be functional in a foreign language–in other words, to be able to cope with most everyday situations–you need to know 2,000 to 3,000 words really well. (That’s about the same number of words that a four or five year old child knows.) When you learn a foreign language in your own country you do not learn much vocabulary. This can cause a real shock when you go abroad and attempt to talk to native speakers. Some ideas for building vocabulary:
Once you have a good basic vocabulary, most of the things that happen in language classes become ridiculously easy: grammar exercise are just a question of slotting familiar words into new environments, and conversation is just a matter of using the words you know in an effective way.
Like anything else, a good start is half the job. Please help yourself by doing a good job of preparation before you start an immersion program.