While winter outside it’s right time to think about summer. Summer means vacation. Vacation means travel. Traveling to some European country seems an option. But Europe is big, diverse place. What are the cities you always wanted to visit? London, Paris, Milan, Barcelona… just to name a few.
What are the things you want to do during vacation? Probably relax, have fun & do something good for yourself. I have found language travel as a great experience to combine option of improving language skills & exploring destination a little bit from locals perspective. Language schools are offering wide variety of courses. Traditional offer varies from Super-Intensive (30 lessons per week) for rapid progress to semi-intensive (15 lessons) for people who would like to take things a bit easier.
What comes to Europe, there is wide variety of choices. Most common languages spoken in European countries are English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. I would add Russian as well. I’m not really fan of French (sorry for that) but French & Surfing, French & Cooking (French Cuisine) or Bordeaux Wine Course sounds tempting 🙂
Same applies to learning any other language. To learn German you can travel to Germany or pick Austria as a destination. With its great natural splendor, elegant cities and rich history, Austria is an extraordinary setting for a German course. Discover spectacular scenery, a wealth of culture and plenty to see and do once your German lessons are finished for the day. Combine language classes with skiing in winter / spring time or explore this lovely country during the summer by hiking, mountain biking or swimming activities.
I think that this is one of the best ways to learn / improve foreign language skills. Go to the place where language is around you & then pick up the experience as it comes along. Doesnt matter are you a complete beginner, or already have some advance level when language is around you on daily basis, it greatly speeds up the learning process. I have one example from my experience. I did learn quite a lot of Italian while living in Malta.
For learning English, many people think of Great Britain, but Malta is perfect summer destination for it. Actually, Malta is great place for learning Italian as well. Beginning of June, mid July is time when there are many young & active language students from all over Europe. Classes during the day, beach & summer-fun later on.
What comes to me, than Malta was the place where I learned most of my Italian. I didn’t go to language school ( I was working in Malta for 4 month) but during my stay I improved my very basic Italian to the level that I could understand around 90% of spoken language and could speak Italian about 70% myself.
Yes, I was willing to learn but that wasnt my goal. I was using the situation I was in – shops, beach, gym and even TV at evenings to learn language that was around me. Even more, August is the month of vacation in Italy, and many Italians are going for a vacation to Malta. So I had many Italian children in my classes and it was an additional motivation for me to learn even more. Yes, I was spending some time with books, but I had fun as well 🙂