It would seem that if you move abroad, learning a local language is in the nature of things. But not everyone thinks so. Having learned about areas where different nationalities live, some people are relieved to think that speaking one of the local languages is not necessary. Is it correct? Let us see.
Many people decide to go abroad. Goals can be different: work, study, temporary residence. Some decide to stay there forever. However, strangely enough, usually the latter either do not know English at all or they know only the basics. Often on the Internet you can hear the opinion that the knowledge of language is not essential, that you can do without it. The main thing is to leave as soon as possible. This is not true, and today we will tell you about the most common myths existing among potential emigrants.
- Myth #1. I will communicate exclusively with my compatriots. I do not need the language
You have probably heard about Chinatown – mini-China in an English-speaking city. Of course, other nationalities also took the opportunity to create their own environment. Abroad such regions are formed quite often. Their residents freely communicate in their native languages.
Definitely, it’s great when all inscriptions on billboards and store windows are in your mother tongue. In shops, hair and beauty salons you are serviced by personnel who speak your tongue. It would seem convenient – a small variant of your country in, say, the US.
Are you going abroad to come to your native country? It is nice to communicate with compatriots away from home, but we are not going to limit ourselves to such communication solely. Knowledge of English will give you certain advantages:
- You will be able to study at a local educational institution: all lectures, educational materials in English will be clear to you.
- You can find not just a job but a GOOD highly-paid job. Below we will consider this point in detail.
- You can independently write various appeals, complaints, statements. Despite loyalty to local minorities, official papers should be filled in English.
- You can make new friends and maintain useful connections.
- You are not limited to your area, shops, hospitals, etc. So, if you have problems with health, you can go to English-speaking doctors on your own.
- You can visit various exhibitions, cultural events, festivals, go to cinemas, theaters, concerts. Since you will still live in an English-speaking country, most of the entertainment will also be provided in English.
- You can freely travel around the country without accompanying interpreters.
- You can find an additional income – from teaching your neighbors English.
If you want to go to London and live comfortably there, think about studying the language in your own country. In the meantime, you collect the necessary documents, fill in the gaps in knowledge, upgrade your English to the level sufficient for living abroad.
- Myth #2. I will go abroad, plunge into language environment and start to speak English immediately. I do not need to learn anything
Immersion in local language environment is the best way to learn English, no one denies this. But does this method justify itself for all levels of language knowledge? Can a Beginner or Elementary student feel free to plunge into the depths of English?
The untruthfulness of this myth can be proved by travelers. In a short time (1-2 weeks) it is impossible to improve the level of language. Yes, you are going abroad for a long time, but if your level is lower than Intermediate, living abroad will be quite difficult. It will be difficult for you to understand what people say to you. You will have the only desire to communicate only with compatriots, so as not to complicate your life.
Knowledge of English does not appear automatically, it will be necessary to work on it for a long time. However, some emigrants do not learn to speak English even after 10-20 years of living in an English-speaking country. When it comes to the United States, the reason for such considerations is that the US government decided to grant citizenship to older citizens without checking their language skills.
Anything can happen abroad: you may once need to call the police and ask someone for help. It is better to start learning the language while preparing for a trip. Then you will be ready for unusual situations abroad and able to communicate not only with your compatriots.
- Myth #3. I can take free English courses for immigrants
Again, most countries try to create comfortable conditions for immigrants. In many educational institutions free courses of English are provided for them. Learning in language environment should theoretically bear fruit.
According to some immigrants who have been living in the USA for several years, free courses are not always effective. As a rule, teachers are poorly motivated: they are either volunteers or ones with low salaries. In small towns, schools with free courses are not in abundance, groups consist of 40 people, you need to wait for your turn to get there. In some cases, you may be forced to pay for studying after you get a job.
There are really good free courses, but finding them abroad is not easy. In addition, the term of study sometimes takes 2-3 years. Not all immigrants have enough time and patience for that. So, maybe it is better to start practicing the language in your country?
- Myth #4. I can find a job abroad without the knowledge of English
Yes, you can really find a job with your native language only. What kind of work you will find is another question. If you are a graduate of a prestigious university, it is unlikely that you will be satisfied with a low-paid job. Most likely, you will want to confirm the degree.
Some people are confident that popular universities in their home countries are equally popular abroad. They believe that nothing could be easier for them than to get a highly-paid job, where they are eagerly awaited. Take off the rose-colored glasses! Abroad no one knows your universities, at best they have heard about them by chance. To confirm the qualification you will have to take an exam, and it is unrealistic without knowing the language: all questions will be in English. Imagine how you can tell about the liquidity indicators of US banks or the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction in the language you can’t speak.
Many emigrants generally advise not to confirm the degree but to receive a new one: it is easier to do. But this requires all the same English.
Do you not want to work in a large corporation? Are you going to work at a construction site, a gas station, a car service? Alas, and there you still have to communicate with a boss or customers, so you will have to know at least the basics of English. According to immigrants’ words, the better you speak the language, the higher salary you can expect.
These are not all myths of potential emigrants but we tried to tell you the most popular and "acutest" ones. We hope that you have convinced: you cannot live a full life either a prosperous America, in the aristocratic UK, or in sunny Australia without English.