5 Ways to Prepare for Studying in a Language School
Going to a specialist school to study languages can seem like a daunting task. They can be quite intensive, and you might feel like you aren’t quite up to the task. To help you, we’ve put together 5 ways to prepare for studying in a language school so that you can feel confident and prepared. Learning languages at school is a fun and rewarding experience, and we’re here to show you how you can make the most of it.
1. Know what you want to achieve
What’s your end-goal? Where do you want to be at the end of the course? Some people want to be near-enough fluent, whereas others just want to be able to hold a simple conversation. Write down what you want to achieve from language school, pin it up in your room, and look at it every morning.
Setting yourself goals is hugely important, as it gives you something to be working towards. It gives you a learning structure. Giving yourself targets means that you’re less likely to be stressed if something doesn’t quite go as well as you’d hoped – and you’ll know what you can do to get back on track.
2. Plan your homework schedule
It might sound crazy to do this before you actually get given homework, but trust me – you’ll get quite a bit. Learning a language requires a lot of practice, and the homework you do will help you retain the information that you’ve learned in the day. Planning your schedule means that you’ll be in a frame of mind to keep learning when you leave class, and will help you achieve your main goal from #1.
We’d recommend that you spend a couple of hours every night going over what you learned in class that day. Pat Goodridge, writing for The Mezzofanti Guild, says that for more intensive language courses you should be looking at doing up to an hour homework per hour of classwork that day. This may sound like a long time, but the practice seriously helps.
3. Pack your bag and decide what to wear the night before
Simple, simple things…but so, so important. There’s nothing worse than turning up late on your first day because you needed to buy a new notepad or had to iron a shirt. Avoid the flustered feeling by getting it all sorted the night before.
Choose what you’re going to wear, make sure it’s all clean, and hang it up in your room outside your wardrobe. Don’t even go in your wardrobe in the morning – you shouldn’t need to if you’re prepared enough. When you’ve done that, leave your pre-packed bag by the front door so it’s ready to go in the morning. Easy, right? Now your morning is much less stressful, and you can focus on being on time.
4. Get a good night’s sleep
Learning languages is mentally tiring, so you’re going to need as much sleep as you can get. Look to get 7-8 hours of sleep – and don’t stay up too late. It’s easier said than done if you’re feeling a bit nervous, so we’d recommend having a look at tips on how to overcome nervousness on The Positivity Blog.
In the morning, make sure you get out of bed the moment your alarm goes off. We all know there’s nothing more dangerous than the ‘snooze’ button, and staying in bed is the first sign that you aren’t fully motivated to get up…those languages won’t learn themselves!
5. Learn about the local area
This applies more to people who are learning languages in a foreign country (check out our blog on adjusting to life abroad), but it also applies to those who are studying in a different town or city. Learning about the local area, be it a city or a small village, is a great way of helping you to relax.
It also has practical uses: if you are getting a bus or train into school, do you know the timetable? If you aren’t taking lunch with you, do you know where you can pick up some food? Having a bit of local knowledge goes a long way in terms of helping you feel more comfortable with the language school experience.
If you’re thinking about studying English in the UK, we run courses all around the country. Take a look at our current special offers on English language courses for more information.