Take advantage of your vacation to further your language skills

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Whether you plan on travelling from coast to coast this summer or are just daydreaming about it at home, planning a trip is a great way to practise the language you’re learning. Simply pick a city or a region of Canada where that language is spoken and get into research mode. Linguistic opportunities are only a few kilometres (or a few clicks) away!

 

Plan ahead

Start researching your destination to learn more about its festivals and local attractions. What is the best time of year to visit? How would you ask for directions? What would you ask a tour guide? Break down your daily itinerary and make your own mini phrasebook with useful sentences and expressions. 

After deciding what to do and see, focus on how to get there, where to sleep, and where to eat. Practise ordering food, splitting bills and calculating tips, asking for the WiFi password, and extending a booking. Find transportation fares, accommodation rates and restaurant menus (all in the language you’re learning!) and start building a budget. 

Refresh your vocabulary by writing a packing list and a checklist of everything you would need to do before you leave. Do you need to ask a friend to water your plants, pick up your mail or take care of your dog? Complete these final preparations in the language you’re learning and you’ll be set to leave, with your mind at ease and linguistic knowledge at the ready!

 

 Enjoy the trip

Once on the road, you’ll find yourself surrounded by opportunities to practise and keep learning. Add a game of I Spy or 20 Questions to your journey, and pay attention to the words used on any road signs or airport and train station signage you come across. While taking in the sights, keep an eye out for bilingual brochures, museum plaques and audio guides. Start with the language you’re learning, and check the translations as needed. Feeling adventurous? Try booking a tour given in the language you’re learning! And if you ever need a break from crowds, spend a quiet day wandering through the parks and coffee shops away from the busiest areas. You’ll still get to hear and say a few words in the language you’re learning, but in more familiar contexts. Keep a travel log where you write down your favourite moments of the day. Don’t worry if you miss a few words—the important thing is to keep practising!

 

Travel from the comfort of your home

Not travelling this summer? Technology is on your side! Use online tools to plan a trip by searching for activities, accommodations, transportation and more—either to get ahead of next year’s preparations or simply as an opportunity to practise the language. Virtual tours are also a great way to discover new places (and new vocabulary!) without leaving your home. And don’t forget to look into Facebook groups and travel forums closer to home. Are people asking questions about your city in the language you’re learning? Try to describe your favourite spots and offer recommendations to future travellers!

From booking websites to interactive platforms, endless online resources allow you to gather the information you need to plan everything, enjoy your summer and tell tales of your travels in the language you’re learning. As a final step before leaving, remember to review Mauril’s catalogue—it’s possible a series or a documentary was filmed where you’re heading!

 
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