Brits are famous for their aversion to speaking foreign languages. With Brexit set to impact the way in which we live and work for decades, however, learning a new language could be imperative to stand out in a crowded market.
While 80% of European 15-to-30-year-olds can read and write in at least one other language, Brits fall way behind at only 32%. And it’s not just job prospects that can be improved if you learn a new language – it can help to stave off Alzheimer’s as well as other age-related degenerative diseases. In fact, a number of studies prove a connection between bilingualism and cognitive function.
Learning a foreign language can also help you to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures and can make travelling more enjoyable.
If you’re ready to take those next steps and learn a new language, here are some of the best ways in which you can start learning – today!
Watch TV with subtitles
The most popular languages studied in the UK include Spanish, French and German. As more and more streaming services show foreign programmes, there’s no better way to learn a new language than watching a new show.
You can always turn on English subtitles to help you understand what’s going on but, eventually, you’ll have no need for them.
Go to the country
If you’re really looking to immerse yourself and learn not only the language but the culture, then consider a sabbatical to a foreign country. Make a budget and work out for how long you could feasibly live there.
Whether you make the trip with a specialist language travel group or go it alone, take the time to do your research.
Download an app
If you’re slightly more restricted in terms of budget, then consider using an app to further your language learning. There is no shortage of apps available, with many offering comprehensive free programmes. From Duolingo to Babbel, Speechling to Rosetta Stone, just spending 10 minutes a day practising can see your language skills improve exponentially.
Accept that you’ll get it wrong!
One of the most common reasons why Brits continue to speak English and nothing else is they’re afraid of getting it wrong and making a fool out of themselves. Once you get over the fear, though, and accept that you’ll get it wrong, learning a language becomes much more fun!
You’d never make fun of someone trying to speak English, so why would someone make fun of you? Most native speakers appreciate the effort and, if you ask, they’re often more than willing to help.