Living in the Netherlands and learning a foreign language

Going to work abroad can be a great opportunity to gain foreign language skills or to improve them if you have ever been exposed to them before, for example at school or on courses. One of the most effective study methods is to be surrounded as much as possible by the language you want to learn. It engages the different senses and exercises all language skills, both active (listening and reading) and passive (speaking and writing). It also brings you into contact with authentic language, not just the one you know from dictionaries and textbooks. Here are some ways to put this method into practice: 

  • watch series and films in the original language version (with subtitles for a start);
  • listen to the radio, audiobooks and podcasts in the target language;
  • read newspapers, magazines, books and articles on the internet written in the foreign language;
  • don’t limit yourself to the company of your compatriots, but try to make contacts and spend time with people from other nations, which will force you to speak the language;
  • change the settings of your devices, such as your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Remember not to be afraid of making mistakes and not to be discouraged by minor difficulties and setbacks, which are perfectly natural in the learning process. With time, you will become fluent in a foreign language and will even begin to think in it. All you need is good intentions, patience and regularity. Good luck!

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