Studying abroad is a special experience, but also a challenge. Especially in terms of language. Good foreign language skills are essential for attending the university and are usually compulsory. Good linguistic preparation for studying abroad should therefore not be overlooked.
It is highly recommended that you take part in language training before you leave. In this way you can acquire basic foreign language skills or brush up on existing knowledge. So you are well prepared from the start and can concentrate fully on the course content and campus life.
There are various methods of acquiring the required language skills. In the following, we present some options for linguistic preparation for studying abroad.
Learning a language with the help of a textbook is very traditional and familiar from school. The content of the textbook consists of introductory and exercise texts, a grammar section and a vocabulary section. The texts are loosened up and illustrated by images and graphics.
The selection of language textbooks is very large. The books are aimed at either children or adults and cover different levels. The books are more manageable cost factors and can theoretically be taken anywhere.
However, learning is structured in the same way and can therefore quickly become one-sided. In addition, learning requires a great deal of self-discipline. It is not uncommon for textbooks to gather dust on the shelf relatively quickly.
Many books have accompanying CDs in which the texts and exercises are read aloud. Without such a CD, the auditory moment is missing and the pronunciation of many words remains unclear. Another disadvantage is that the textbooks are not up to date. New trends and buzzwords cannot be adequately taken into account in the printing works.
Face-to-face language courses
Another traditional type of language acquisition are face-to-face language courses that take place at the university, at the adult education center or at a language institute in Germany or abroad. The lecturer teaches a group of participants a certain language level grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation rules.
The courses differed in language level and intensity. Ideally, a maximum of ten people take part. This ensures that the individual comes to speak more often. One-to-one tuition is very intensive, but it is also correspondingly expensive. In group lessons it is, in turn, an advantage that the team can motivate each other. As a rule, however, the lecturer will have to orientate himself on the level of the worst student.
One of the disadvantages is that the language courses are inflexible and tied to time and place. If you miss an hour, you already have a lot to catch up. Home must be repeated independently. Those who don’t do that can also lose touch. In addition, many language courses are very grammatical and there is little time for conversation training. Another disadvantage are the course fees, which include the cost of the material (such as textbooks) and possibly travel expenses.
Language courses abroad are of course an ideal opportunity to learn language skills directly where the foreign language is spoken privately in addition to class. Intensive language courses at language schools abroad are probably the most effective way to learn languages, especially for those who want to make significant progress in their foreign language skills within a very short period of time. However, language courses at language schools abroad are by far the most expensive type of language learning.
Probably the most flexible method to learn a foreign language and to prepare linguistically for studying abroad is offered by learning software for languages or language software. The number of programs has increased significantly in recent years and those willing to learn can find a wide range of learning software to choose from. The learning program is available on DVD / CD-ROM, online or via an app.
Learning is based on training vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and conversation. The language software works with reading, listening and speaking exercises as well as text, image and video material and often in an entertaining context such as interactive, everyday application exercises such as interactive language trips, synchronization games for well-known film scenes, games, quizzes and much more.
Short lessons and repetitive exercises will help you learn quickly. The web presence often includes virtual classrooms and chats that enable interactive exchange.
The advantages of language software (many tests on language course software at www.sprachkurs-software.de) over other learning methods are obvious: On the one hand, learning is very varied and therefore less tiring. With language software you can learn comfortably from home, but also on the go: Mobile devices and apps make training possible at any place and at any time. The audio files can be listened to while on the move using a smartphone, MP3 player or iPod. Regular updates ensure that the vocabulary is up-to-date – in contrast to textbooks, you stay up to date.
A certain amount of self-discipline requires the independent division of learning phases. However, many programs help to create an individual and realistic curriculum. There is a suitable language learning program on the market for every requirement.