Returning home – what you need to do
Going on a language learning trip might be the perfect way for you to learn a foreign language.
What are the 9 steps I use to organise a language learning trip?
In this blog post series, I will outline the 9 steps I use to plan and go on a language learning trip.
Not sure on how to select a language school? Read Step 4 – how to choose a language school
Step 9 – Returning home – what you need to do
You’ve just returned home from an amazing language learning trip. What should you do next? How do you retain all that extra knowledge you’ve acquired from your immersive language experience?
After coming home numerous times from language learning trips to China, Viet Nam and Taiwan, here are some of the steps I recommend taking.
Sign up to classes at home
I haven’t always followed my own advice on this step… and delayed getting back into formal classes after returning home. But… we are so lucky we have the option of in-person classes or online classes. No more excuses!
Join a language exchange club
Might your hometown have a language exchange or conversation club you could join? Check Meet Up for suggestions in your area. Otherwise ask around at a local language school, library or university if they know of any clubs.
Find a language exchange partner
Having a language exchange partner in your hometown might be one of the best ways to keep your motivation strong for learning your new language. My Language Exchange might be a good place to start (I haven’t used this service, but if you do let me know how it is!)
Make sure you are still working towards your goals
Revisit your language learning goals. Are you still on track? Have your goals shifted?
It doesn’t matter if your goals change (they will constantly), but what matters is that you are reassessing where you are and where you want to be.
Register for an exam
I have recently registered for the HSK 4 (Mandarin Chinese proficiency test) which I will take next month in August. I have mostly registered for the exam has a way of keeping on track with my study. Doing exams is not everyone’s idea of fun. And exam preparation is definitely not the best and only way to learn a language. Much of what I need to study for this exam is not useful for everyday communication but I find the process of regular revision and making profress great for my motivation overall.
Have a language learning trip experience at home
I am a big believer in recreating your cultural immersion as much as possible back at home. Can you visit a restaurant that serves your country’s cuisine? Tune into movies and music in your target language. Cook up meals at home from your language learning trip.
Seek out other learners of your language
Hanging out with other learners of your language is a great way to keep up your motivation. I have a friend who I studied with in Nanjing, and we always text each other in Chinese. It’s a small amount of practice but a good way to stay in touch and practice my language.
I love hanging out with other language learners. I find it motivating and inspiring to hear their stories and this can sometimes give me the spur on I need if my motivation is flagging.
Plan the next language learning trip
This could be my most favourite tip of all! Start planning your NEXT language learning trip! Where would you go?
What if your language learning didn’t go as well as you hoped?
My main advice would be not to give up. You have come this far with your language learning perhaps you need to give it another go? Or take a short break (only short!) and get into it again. Try some of the tips above and remind yourself why you wanted to learn that language in the first place. Keep strong and keep going!
How have you found returning home from a language learning trip?
Has it been difficult to keep your motivation for your new language?
How have you been able to (or not been able to) keep up your knowledge or practice?
Let me know below!
This is the last post in my series on how to organise a language learning trip!
Visit the main blog post page for all the links on all the steps I’ve spoken about.
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Until next time,