Let it be said: language learning at university in your home country is not always the most practical way to do it. An online English course needs to be experienced either in small groups or in complete immersion if one wants to progress.
According to EF – Education First (an international education company), the level of English amongst European countries varies a lot. Sweeden, Norway and Denmark are at the top of the EF English Proficiency Index which measures the level of English proficiency of adults. Our Scandinavian neighbours scored around 70 (out of 100) giving them a High Proficiency Level.
On the other hand, Spain, Italy and France are all lagging behind ranking 32nd, 34th and 35th of the EF English Proficiency Index and with scores around 55 they only make the mark for a Moderate Proficiency Level.
So how can you learn English in immersion to become bilingual or even completely fluent? We will be giving you all the tips you need regarding In-country immersion classes, at home language acquisition and learning experience or specialised English language coursework.
Your English as a foreign language level isn’t what it should be? You need a refresher course or you are trying to get ready for the TOEFL, TOEIC, TEFL or IELTS exams? Then you might want to consider getting in touch with a linguistic stay agency.
To know how to speak English has become essential for a multitude of areas:
Since English as a foreign language has become so essential, linguistic agencies have boomed and offered many different options:
Once you’ve picked your agency and where you’d like to go and the type of stay you wish to experience, you only have to make sure that you got all the necessary visas and paperwork.
Dutch Philosopher Erasmus advocated for globalism centuries before the concept became a buzzword! Source: Wikipedia Credit: Albrecht Durer
You need to complete an internship as part of your degree, or you wish to discover an English speaking country and improve your literacy, grammar, comprehension, reading and writing skills and overall linguistics skills at the same time? If you are a European citizen, then Erasmus is for you. But before you start your application, there are a few things you should know.
As for any European certified language program, there is a screening for all candidates and only a limited amount of candidates will be accepted to join the program each year. England is also in very high demand, being the only country in Europe with English as an official language.
Here are the different steps you need to take to make sure you get in the Erasmus program:
All Erasmus candidate’s application needs to include:
There are a few more steps to once your application has been successful. You will have to get the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to be covered whenever you end up during your internship.
Of course, you will also have to make sure you got the right currency as the UK uses the Sterling pound rather than the Euro. Get yourself a plug adaptor too as once on the other side of the channel, all plugs will be different. And make sure to have all your documents safely stored.
For now, the UK still accepts European Union national ID card at the border but with Brexit that might change and soon you will probably need a passport if you want to cross the border.
One of the other reasons the UK is such a popular destination for Erasmus students is that students taking a semester or a year to study there usually receive around 400 euros a month as part of their bursary (vs. 250 euros a month for most of the other European destinations).
But do not be fooled, this amount reflects the higher cost of living in England and especially in London. That being said, the current exchange rate will definitely play in your favour.
Every year the United Kingdom welcomes more than 25,000 European students through Erasmus. The intercultural and multicultural approach of the program and the mix of language and culture intensive learning environment has proven to be a success for more than 30 years.
Travel to London to immerse yourself in Shakespeare’s language! Photo Via Visual Hunt
The best thing about being hosted by a family is to be able to be in total immersion which is the best way to improve your English language skills and to learn more about British culture. Living with an English family is a way to learn in a very casual way with expert teachers: English first language speakers.
But there are many countries using English as their official language and you could have to choose between:
Accents and local idioms are different from country to country and it is normal that living with an Australian family is going to be different than living with a British family.
When choosing the country for your linguistic placement, keep in mind that it is a very common thing to do in the United States.
Once you know where you want to go, you will have to get in touch with the right agency:
There are more pros when it comes to choosing to stay with an English speaking family:
British vs American, what’s the difference? ¦ source: Visualhunt – Free Grunge Textures
It is true that speaking with English or American natives seems to be the most immersive way to improve in the mother tongue of Shakespeare. An you could do that in a few different ways:
If you living in a big city it is very likely that the local universities will be welcoming foreign students and if you live in Europe chances are many of them will come from North America or the UK. It will be easy to find someone to be teaching English to you in a casual manner outside the classroom.
These universities often have an international relations department who should be able to put you in touch with English language learners wanting to improve in your native language while you could learn theirs.
Again, if you’re lucky to live in a big city, expats love to learn more about the local languages and you will be likely to find so meet up events where local and expats mingle and try to improve each other language listening skills.
However, the immersive method to learn English with natives is to go and meet them in their home countries. By staying with a local family, you will be sure that your level of English will improve drastically.
Furthermore, there are many options when it comes to living abroad for a while: internships, linguistic exchange, Work Holiday Visas. So don’t be shy, go and learn English in Malta, be an au pair for a bit in New Zealand, join an exchange programme with an American university…