5 creative tips to learn a language
for your holiday and CV
Learning a new language is not only an advantage on holiday, but can also help you if you are looking for a job. Eva from Sprachenzentrum has 5 tips for you on how to make language learning even more successful!
Movie Magic: Watch your favorite movie in a foreign language.
We all know this phenomenon: You watch a 90’s movie at any occasion. You watched, let’s say, “Sleepless in Seattle” ages ago to find out something about “adult’s life”. Later on you watched this movie because you had a crush on the main character. (One of my German language students insisted that the German adjective “saftig” is accurate to describe Tom Hanks. For everyone not that firm in German: “saftig” really only counts for fruits normally, not for men.) At a certain point you watched this rom-com because you wanted to believe in real love again. Then you ended up alone with this very movie, on a Valentine’s day with tons of whipped cream and sparkling wine to fill an evening of loneliness while all the others had their dates and “quality time” with their partners. And finally, now, you watch it because you see this little kid on an adventure to make his dad happy again. Life changes; movie preferences might not. Experience your life-changing favorite movie in a foreign language! You know the context, you know the content and now you can use it to playfully get to know new words in your new favorite language.
Sing Star: Sing along although you don’t understand the text.
Music is part of every life. We immerse in new rhythms while we try to find the rhythm of our own lives. Listen to a song in a foreign language, print the text and sing along. It makes you find out how the words are pronounced. And you can sing them in different rhythms, trying to pronounce them. Tipp: not necessary to start with Austrian dialect, but if you fancy a challenge, take this one: Reinhard Fendrich: Macho.
Cultural Confetti: Word fields in use.
We all know the “game” that often starts or ends a chapter of a language course: word fields. You are given, e.g., the term “food” and have to collect vocabulary related to it. Studying a new language involves getting to know a new culture as well. So make up your own word field, for example the philosophical wide-stretched “culture” or “things I’d gift to my best friend” or “all red things I see”. My personal favorite was the category I made up to prepare for my Italian trip: “things built and crafted before 1600”.
Doing household stuff can be boring. But what if you combined it with your new foreign language? Find the word “clean” in Spanish, write down the kitchen vocabulary in Portuguese and pronounce them every time you use the sponge, the water boiler or the oven. This method also works fantastically as a game for housemates. While studying in England I decided to try pimping up my French a bit. My French housemate always roared with laughter whenever I tried to pronounce the word “hoover” in her mother tongue. There will be some words you’ll never forget. Promised.
Language Lust: Perfection is not part of the game.
We are drilled to perfection. Our world works that way, may it be in work or in private life. But perfection is not the main aim of language studies. Studying a new language means to marvel at new linguistic images. Using a language means to try new phrasing, a verbalization of everything you experience, feel and see. During my studies in England I took part in a writing course. I was the only one whose mother tongue wasn’t English. At the end of the course I won the price for “Excellence in Creative Writing”. Statement of the jury? Linguistic images they had never read before. I guess I felt free in this foreign language. Free to cross the borders of expressions that are normally used.
And you? Your new favorite language is waiting for you! You will find a wide range of language courses at the university's Sprachenzentrum.
Sprachenzentrum der Universität Wien
Unterstützung für internationale Studierende
Viele internationale Studierende – vielleicht auch du – kommen nicht nur für ein Studium nach Österreich sondern wollen gerne mit ihrem Studienabschluss in Österreich arbeiten und leben. Was musst du jedoch rechtlich beachten, wenn du nach deinem Studium gerne langfristig in Österreich Fuß fassen möchtest?Mehr