Many of us wish we could pack up our lives and move to the country of our target language. For some of us, that’s possible. For others, we can’t but try to make a trip or two as often as we can.
So what can we do?
What you can do is to recreate the culture of the country at home, in Australia.
Here are five ways to immerse yourself at home.
1. Speak and think in the language as much as possible. If another person in the household speaks that language, speak it. Or consider taking on an exchange student/boarder who speaks the target language.
2. Change your media to the target language. I’ll use Italian as an example. Are there books or magazine around the house? Make them Italian books and magazines. Watching a movie? Make it an Italian movie. Listening to the radio? Make it an internet Italian radio station. Writing in your journal? Write in Italian.
3. Eat out at authentic cafes or restaurants run by speakers of your language. Find out what neighbourhoods are more highly populated with speakers of your target language.
4. Join a club or group of language speakers. For example: I am part of the Dante Alighieri Società, visit the Brisbane Abruzzo Club at times and joined the ‘Italiani a Brisbane’ Facebook group. Network and make connections.
5. Frequently check the community ads on Gumtree (or whatever the equivalent is in your country) to find language swap opportunities.
Although it can never compare to being surrounded by native speakers, it is a good start to help you immerse yourself at home.
For more inspiration and ideas read ‘How I Fit Language Learning Into Every Day’.
What works for you? Leave me a comment.