When immigrating to a new country, most people experience a major culture shock due to the vast differences between their home country and the new one. Language is often a significant barrier for people when arriving in a foreign country. It takes time to acclimate to a new home, but with tenacity and effort, it is possible to begin picking up words and phrases in a new language. Immersion into the culture and language can be very helpful, especially for people who want to learn quickly. Immigrants may also pursue legal advice from a lawyer to learn about immigration law and any protections or requirements in place in the new country.
After moving to a foreign country, the immersion principle becomes the new normal. Everything surrounding an immigrant is presented in a foreign language, including the spoken word, publications, signs, recordings, and menus. While learning at one's own pace is preferred, many people feel a strong pressure to adapt and learn the new language quickly to enable them to communicate with native people in the new country.
Many immigrants experience success by incorporating prescribed language learning tips into their daily lives. Labeling items in the home can be an easy way to reinforce new names for things such as a table, lamp, bed, desk, light switch, and door. Carrying a small notebook and pen is also helpful for writing down new vocabulary words as they present themselves in conversation. Reading books, newspapers, and magazines in the new language is also helpful. Even starting with simple children's books can be an effective way to improve language skills. Watching movies in the new language can be both entertaining and educational. In the beginning, immigrants should keep the subtitles on so they can read the words as they are spoken. Over time, it can help to turn off the subtitles because this forces a greater focus on listening, which also enhances language skills. Keeping a journal in the new language is helpful for developing new writing skills, too. Taking a class designed for new learners will often help with grasping foundational grammar and syntax.
New language learning may result in a formal or stinted way of speaking that doesn't fit in with the way natives of a country speak. This can be especially pronounced if a strong accent makes it difficult for natives to understand an immigrant. To avoid this unnatural way of speaking, an immigrant might focus on learning native nuances in a language after learning the basics. Listening to instructional recordings of native speakers is one way to learn standard language nuances. Watching television and movies can also be helpful. Paying special attention to intonation, the way native speakers vary the pitch of their voice, inject pauses, and use body language, can assist with language learning to make it sound more natural. Even reading dictionaries that include idioms and terms commonly used by natives can be extremely beneficial for picking up these obscure expressions.
Explore these links for tips and suggestions when learning a language in a new country: