Well my friends, this is something Americans aren’t known for doing well. This isn’t to say there aren’t some Americans who speak other languages flawlessly, but Americans, the Brits, Aussies and basically anyone with English as a mother tongue isn’t known for this particular skill. I would like to change this.
To be able to learn a new skill, as an English speaker, a person must truly put themselves in a place of immersion. I “speak,” French, but while meeting French people abroad, I always fall back on English because their grasp of my language is better than the opposite. English is becoming a global language, so all too often, it’s easy to just be happy we were blessed with it as our mother tongue.
To take this hobby to the next step, my plans are to immerse myself in a French speaking culture, as well as hit the audio files and French literature all over the web. Though classes in a French speaking country would be nice, one great option for immersion on a budget is to do a stint WWOOFing. Countries all over the world offer free housing and food in exchange for some sort of labor. The work isn’t normally too arduous (though I’ve heard some horror stories) and most placements put you in the position to rely completely on the new language.
There are many ways to immerse yourself in new cultures, so learning a new language is yours to explore. Merci, À bientôt!