How to Decide Which Language to Study in University
Learning another language opens up a world of possibilities, exposes you to other cultures, and even changes the way you think. University is the perfect time to learn a language because you’re in the right frame of mind to absorb information and you can make sure you dedicate enough hours each week to keep making progress. By no means is learning a language easy, though. To see results, one important thing to do is choose the right language to study.
1. Decide What Level You Want to Reach
It’s crucial to have reasonable expectations, or you’ll find it difficult to stay motivated for long. If you choose something similar to your native language, it will likely take you around 600 hours before you can hold a conversation without making many mistakes. However, a language that is completely unlike any you already speak — such as one that uses a different alphabet or system of writing — can take significantly longer. Deciding what level you want to reach can help you narrow down your choices.
2. Research the Availability of Resources
In addition to the books you buy for your classes, you’ll find it useful to have some additional resources. At the beginning, free online tools will be the most helpful. However, as you progress, you’ll find it invaluable to be able to watch movies, read simple books, and chat with native speakers. Before deciding on what language to study, it’s worth seeing if resources like these exist.
3. Find a Good Reason for Learning a Particular Language
You should have a reason for choosing a particular language — something beyond that you think it’s the easiest choice. Perhaps you have friends or family members who speak it, you’re attracted to the culture of one of the countries where the language is spoken, or you love a certain genre of music and want to be able to sing along. What may seem like a minor reason to someone else could be enough to keep you engaged with your learning.
4. Think About How You Could Use the Language
If your university offers a chance to study abroad, it could make sense to learn a language spoken in one of the countries where you’d be able to spend a semester. Alternatively, you may like to consider how you could use the language after you graduate, such as living abroad or volunteering. Research opportunities to decide what languages will serve you best.
5. Consider How Different Languages Relate to Your Career Goals
Any language can improve your career prospects, but a certain choice may be best for the direction you want to take. For instance, if you want to work in an industry that is dominated by Chinese companies, even gaining a basic knowledge of Chinese could put you at an advantage over other candidates in a job interview. However, if you’re still unsure what exactly you want to do career-wise, learning a widely-spoken language like Spanish or Arabic could be beneficial.
To succeed with learning a language, you’ll need to study outside your classes. This means having a quiet place where you can focus. For Ottawa student housing that provides you with exactly this, there’s The Revalie. Better still, you’ll have the chance to meet many other students, some of whom may be learning the same language or be native speakers, giving you plenty of opportunity to practice. Apply now to secure your place for next semester.