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Le-Anne

March 28th, 2024

Embarking on the path to being a polygot: languages at LSE

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Le-Anne

March 28th, 2024

Embarking on the path to being a polygot: languages at LSE

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Growing up in Singapore, I had the opportunity to learn both English and Chinese throughout my schooling life as first languages. I became fluent in both of them and I truly enjoyed my experience growing up bilingual. When I had the opportunity to pick up a third language in the first year of middle school, I chose to learn Japanese, which I never completed because I gave up after 8 months. I remember struggling with the language, especially because I did not have anyone to practice Japanese with. My interest in language learning was rekindled when I first joined my home university in France as an international student who did not know a single word of the French language apart from ‘bonjour’ and ‘merci’. 

Today, I continue my language learning story at the LSE Language Centre in both French and Korean, and I truly appreciate my classes and the learning experience right here, at LSE. For all the joy I’ve gotten out of learning languages, here are some tips that could hopefully launch you into a new journey of exploring a new language!

 

Tapping on your wide social network

I found that the fastest way to learn a new language was to immerse oneself in an environment that supports you in practicing and using the language. I was thankful that my social circle in France consisted of native French speakers who would encourage me to actively use French outside of the classroom, and correct me when I had errors in my speech or work. This made me feel comfortable in using the language around them, and helped me develop greater confidence in speaking French. To be able to grow fluent through the help of your friends is a very fulfilling and fun way of mastering a new language!

 

Learn, but make it fun

Before learning Korean formally at the language centre, I used to learn Korean through short YouTube clips of variety shows and Korean dramas (just like most K-culture fans would!). This helped me develop an interest in the language and pick up anything from simple words to useful daily phrases. Today, I listen to news broadcasts and podcasts that discuss a range of topics from social issues to politics, which has allowed me to expand my vocabulary and understanding of the language. It is also a relatively easy way to kickstart your language learning journey (apart from Duolingo or other language apps) in a fun way if you’re not the biggest fan of learning languages in a formal setting. 

 

Where else but the Language Centre!

Lastly, when I started my exchange in London, I decided that I wanted a structured learning environment to support me as I continued to pursue these two languages. This led me to enrol in 2 language programmes at the Language Centre at the start of the academic year. If you’d like to pick up a new language or strengthen your mastery over one that you’re currently learning, having a small class and a teacher might be a useful way to get you started. With the different aspects of language learning — including vocabulary, grammar, writing, comprehension, etc. — the classes offered by the LSE Language Centre covers them all and will be your bang-for-buck option for learning a language in London. 

 

Being bilingual, trilingual or even multilingual may sound difficult initially, but it can be a fun and meaningful skill to have! If you are still thinking about picking up a new language, make it a point to check out the course offerings by the LSE Language Centre. Meanwhile, there remains a wide range of options through which you can develop an interest in a new language or even start learning the basics of one. Happy learning!

About the author

Le-Anne

Hi there! My name is Le-Anne, and I'm a third-year exchange student on the GO LSE programme. I am from Singapore, but I studied in France for the first two years of university before arriving in London this year. My academic interests are in Politics and History, and I love to do anything related with these areas of study. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, dancing, making music and video editing. I'm also an avid fan of solo travelling and hope to visit as many European countries as I can before I complete my studies at the LSE. I'm really looking forward to sharing fun and interesting content with everyone!

Posted In: Study Abroad

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