Learn a foreign language
Unfortunately, I didn’t really think it was necessary and did not pursue it beyond the basic introduction where we did a term each of French, German, Japanese and Aboriginal.
For the last few years, I have thought about learning to teach English as a foreign language. I do not have the desire to be a teacher in a school though.
It is a life skill that I want to have, so I can use it when interacting with people who are developing their English.
Getting a TEFL Certification
I started a course to learn to teach English as a foreign language online via MyTEFL in the middle of last year.
The content was good, but I quickly learned (or was reminded really) that I do not learn easily by reading. I greatly prefer to learn by doing, watching or listening.
Therefore, it took me a really, really long time to get through all the content and earn my certificate.
It wasn’t that the content was difficult, I just did not want to sit in front of the computer and read…so I kept putting it off.
This meant, that it cost me a whole lot more than it should have, as I had to keep paying to extend the completion date.
Learning to teach English as a foreign language
Anyway, I now have the certificate and the resources…and the confidence to actually start to use the knowledge that I have acquired.
As I have a house full of people who speak English as a second… or sixth language, I also have the opportunity to start practising and developing the practical skills to accompany my theoretical learning.
I am also fortunate, that my ‘students’ are grateful and gracious…and have offered to help me improve my language skills as well, by learning their language.
Learning to speak a language other than English
I have a standard set of words that I research and practice before travelling, so we started with those.
Developing a basic vocabulary of words that I will actually be likely to use makes it feel worthwhile and somewhat easier.
If you would like the list of common words in Spanish, let me know and I will share it with you.
Tips for travelling in countries that do not speak English
Immersing yourself is generally considered to be the most effective way.
That is not always practical though, especially if you are travelling to several countries that speak different languages.
I have found that writing a list of common words on a piece of paper and putting that in the back of my phone is really handy.
I have a clear phone case, so I can quickly refer to the list when I am out and about, without needing to open Google translate.
What are your tips for learning a new language when travelling to a country where most locals do not speak English?
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Joy has been working her way around the world with her kids, solo and with her partner for over 20 years. Her motto is ‘travel cheap, travel deep’. She built a green house and tries to live a green life. 35/196
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