Teaching abroad can be nerve racking, especially when you are going to an unfamiliar place where you don’t know the culture. Learning a new language can certainly be tough but being able to communicate effectively to do daily tasks as well as make friends and connections while you are teaching abroad will be something that makes the transition and experience easier and more gratifying.

1. Conversation

Conversation is something that is extremely helpful when you are learning a new language. You can memorize words on paper, but conversation is something that truly helps you get a grasp on the dialect as well as helps you be able to pronounce words correctly and practice conversation you will most likely be having with people on the streets, other teachers, and new friends you make. Find someone who is fluent in the language and practice with them, even if it is just a 15-minute phone call. They can give you tips and tricks on what you are doing wrong as well as help you learn more common conversations you will be happening and help with pronunciation.

2. Start with common words and phrases

You are not going to be able to be 100% fluent in a language before you go teaching abroad, and that is okay. Start with 100 common words and then keep building from there. Getting a foundation for the language before you go abroad will help you out tremendously when you are there and utilizing the conversation. While memorizing all the colors may be easy, it won’t be as useful as having a good grasp on common phrases, foods, or questions.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

The only way that you are going to be able to grasp and retain the language is if you are always practicing. Listen to podcasts and music in the language you are trying to learn, take an hour out of your day to only use the language you are learning, point to objects in your house and say them in the language you are practicing.

Learning a new language isn’t easy, but it is something that is going to help you adjust when you are going abroad to teach a new language. It will not only make teaching students easier but also help you be able to experience the culture better and adjust in a new country easier.