During adulthood, reasons to learn a new language differ and are sometimes linked together:
- For finding a job (broader professional opportunities, being comfortable working in an international work environment)
- For an immigration project
- For tourism purposes (in order to enjoy your vacation more, being able to communicate with people of the country you are visiting effectively)
- For educational reasons and research
- Establishing and building new friendships and relationships
When we decide to learn a foreign language as an adult, like French for instance, it is often for certain goals. Therefore, the right coaching and learning approaches used must be chosen conscientiously by your teacher, meaning your experiences and course work should fulfill and relate to the reasons you want to learn a particular language in the first place. It’s important that the teacher you will choose has a nationally or internationally recognized teaching diploma and several years of teaching experience. Also, studies have shown that in order for students’ levels to improve and advance, constant immersion combining genuine conversations and experiences is key to seeing results. So it’s not just who is teaching you, but the way the teach, the experience they give, and how they adapt which is important.
What you want to learn may vary from lesson to lesson. Whether it be specific vocabulary about a particular line of business, general everyday life vocabulary, expressions, or cultural communication, it’s important that you communicate with your teacher openly, and that he or she adapts to your needs, learning style, and objectives.
Another piece of advice would be to benefit from learning with a native born teacher. The reasons being that a native born teacher has both the language skills and cultural awareness linked to that language. It will also allow you to advance your speaking speaking skills at a faster pace, due to less time spent translating. Learning expressions and getting used to a true accent will help you to communicate and understand native speakers of the language you are learning more effectively.
You can also sign up to conversation groups to allow you to improve your conversation skills. If you participate in interactive sessions, you will have the opportunity to talk about things that you care about (family, passions…, etc) but also learn about other subjects that are interesting to other people. It can be a little challenging at the beginning, but you have to remind you that the classes will bring improve your social skills, build new relationships, and help bring out the best in you.