If taking English as second language courses is a good way to become familiar with Shakespeare's language, going to a host family to immerse yourself is still a better language instruction method to improve your English proficiency and literacy outside the classroom.
The United Kingdom of Mrs May has decided, according to the Guardian, to lower the issuance of study visas to foreign students, from 300,000 to 170,000.
Yet, foreign students bring nearly 11 billion pounds (13 billion euros) to the state.
Nevertheless, you still want to go to the UK or other English-speaking countries to become bilingual in English? Aiming to be reading and writing English as well as your first language? Wanting to master English as a second language and understand all the linguistics, grammar and vocabulary details?
Here are our tips for living in a host family, a language immersion considered as the best method of learning English quickly.
Why stay with a host family?
Why go abroad, regardless of your age, when you can take private lessons at home with our teachers on Superprof or take courses in an international French school?
Firstly, taking a trip abroad allows you to learn a foreign language by being immersed from dawn till dusk in the language and culture of the country in question.
As a student, you will be able to share meals with your host family, participate in the tasks of the house and have activities in common, which can make progress without feeling forced.
You will learn without having the impression to revise entire pages to learn English grammar, irregular verbs and English vocabulary that you would through online English courses.
It will be much more effective than watching movies in the original version.
Staying abroad is more economical than a language school tuition program since the English language learner "only" pays the rent for their room, whereas they would often have to pay at least € 1,500 for a one-month course in a language school in London, Melbourne or New York.
Even starting with a beginner level, speaking English every day is indeed the best way to learn by acquiring a current level of language, and the accent as used in the region in question.
In addition, we will avoid giving in to the ease of speaking one's mother tongue by rubbing shoulders with a French-speaking audience at the backpacker hostel, a stumbling block often common among travellers.
In addition, the interest is also that you can learn different accents depending on the country where you go: American English, Scottish English, Irish English, English in an Australian family, etc.
Conversely, the courses taken in France in high school, in LV1 or LV2 do not open to this specificity: one learns literary English, focusing less on oral expression than on the written comprehension.
In addition to memorizing English with your hosts, you can be understood gradually and progress every day on intonation, tonic accent, English pronunciation, idiomatic expressions, get used to thinking in English.
Here are some of the other advantages of stay with a host family:
- You will receive intensive courses, adapted to your needs, at least 4 hours a day all week long
- You will be completely immersed in the local dialect
- You will go out in a foreign country and extend your network of friends internationally
- You will benefit from a tailored training curriculum, giving you the chance to choose accommodation types, full or half board, driver, etc
- You will be able to work locally to finance your stay or improve your vocabulary or both.
- You will make huge progress and get ready for your exams, may it be TOEIC, TOEFL or IELTS
- Your CV will look all the better for it, showing that you understand the Anglo-Saxon culture and speak a decent English
Maybe you could be teaching English soon and help non-English speakers and non-native to reach a level of fluency in English that will help them in their bilingual education.
You will also be able to find out more about the life of the locals and what it is like to live across the channel. This will give you a much better understanding of the culture, traditions and customs that define the local life.
Check for English courses in London here.
Which Country To Choose For Your Linguistic Stay?
What agency should you get in touch with? There's so many...
Battling for the lucrative market of international linguistic stays, many different travel agencies and linguistic schools offer as many options when it comes to get in touch and pick a host family.
Here are some of the existing ones:
Lingoo is a platform connecting foreign families wishing to receive foreign students and students wishing to do a language exchange.
It does not mean that learning English will be any easier - nothing is easy when you go abroad to study - but the advantage is that you create your own journey, depending on your goals. , your situation or your age.
Thousands of host families are listed on this site. The website also gives users choices for accommodation and meals, and some families offer to share their excursions and their daily life.
There will be no need to do boring English exercises (grammar exercises and vocabulary exercises to assimilate each word).
Lingoo makes it possible to filter the profiles of host families, to subscribe and to book a trip abroad. No need to wait for the approval of the said family!
Chez nous Homestay
What's better than practising English in Ireland? Why not stay with a host family while visiting the wild Irish coast?
Alas, it is necessary to get in touch first in order to have access to the tariffs of the stays.
But it will be an opportunity to go near Galway, in the west of Ireland, to see the country while having the opportunity to improve your English through informal conversation English classes, a good way to learn how to speak English fluently.
English pronunciation has always been your weakness? Or you could never remember how to build a sentence in English?
Go with Excellence Linguistique (EL)!
This specific linguistic stay allows to book both the accommodation and language courses and it will include excursions and discovery of the local life and culture.
Linguistic Excellence (EL) offers homestay stays in England, Ireland and Spain.
Host families are selected by EL's local correspondents, who live year-round on the spot and who are often even personally connected with these families.
It should be noted that host families can be of all sort, from nuclear families and single-parent families to recomposed families, families with an immigrant background, young couples with or without children, retired couples, etc.
Another agency, LEC, is an alternative to learning English in England, Ireland, Scotland, Malta, Australia, Canada or the United States.
The website requires to select the period of your desired stay, when you can leave, and your desired placement options (intensive courses and activities).
Note that the courses are for children from 10 years old and are hosted in major cities in several countries of the English-speaking world: London, Dublin, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Sydney, Perth, Ottawa.
Living With A Host Family: A Typical Day!
Whether you are a child, a teenager, a student or an adult, a language trip means getting out of your home and comfort zone and to explore other cultures.
It is will create new social links and encourage you to socialize. But you will have to learn to live in a family whose habits and standards are different of your own.
On the other hand, host families must consider their host as a full member of their family for the duration of the stay, it is obvious that they will not change their schedule or their lifestyle depending on the person hosted.
It is up to the participant to adapt to the daily life of their host family and not the other way around, to discover their culture, habits and way of life.
In a host family, language learning is made easier since one is encouraged to converse every day in English: to assimilate the rules of grammar and enrich their vocabulary, this is the best!
Do not expect to have hearty meals at noon and dinners at ten at night: in the Anglo-Saxon culture, it is common to dine at 6 o'clock and at lunchtime, the family eat separately a light lunch, usually made of a bread sandwich.
Similarly, the English breakfast differs from ours: it will often be much more earthy and complete than in France, as the lunch is lean.
And yes, a linguistic journey is much more than just language learning, it is also associated with the customs of the country in question.
Finally, here are some tips for living well in a foreign host family, away from the desire to learn English online:
- To be open-minded,
- Communicating with your hosts,
- Give a gift on arrival,
- Adapt to the rhythm of the family (meals, bedtime, sunrise, etc.),
- Accept cultural or socioeconomic differences,
- Participate in household tasks (cleaning after yourself, helping with housework or cooking, etc.),
- Listen to conversations (ideal for learning English quickly).
Back in France, here's one thing students do not do enough: stay in touch with the host family! By becoming friends with your hosts, you can perhaps one day, come back without going through a language travel agency!