Have you just arrived in Ireland and is looking for practicing or expanding your language skills? Planning to come to Ireland any time soon? Here are simple alternatives that can make your language experience richier.
Change the language of your phone!
It seems obvious doesn’t it? Small gesture that can help you think more in English. It has limitations after all your smartphone system is standardised and will only give you a small variety of vocabulary. The great catch of this tip is simply to stimulate your mind to think and respond in the new language!
Along with this you can start taking notes of your tasks and shopping list in English! Why not? And it’s okay if you don’t know a certain word or expression in English, at the beginning it will come out mixed! And it’s okay! With time and practice we get there!
Use the dictionary instead of the translator!
Because researching the meaning in the dictionary also encourages you to think more in English. One of the mistakes we make when starting in a new language is thinking in the mother tongue and translating it into the desired language while trying to communicate verbally! How to solve? Practice 🙂
In addition, the dictionary will bring you new words, new ways of using the language and increase your vocabulary much more.
But how to carry a dictionary up and down? No! The dictionary has already reinvented itself in technology too! We recommend the renowned: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/
Mobile friendly, great explanations and examples of language usage, brings synonyms and antonyms, and comes with pronunciation in American and British English!
Got some free time after school or work? Volunteering is a big land to walk on in Ireland. There’s plenty of charity and non-profit organisations with thousands of opportunities to volunteer for. From professional skills to very humanising opportunities. For example, making company to an elder person that struggles with reading because they’re losing their sight, or someone with a disability needing help with running errands or a young person with an intellectual disability looking for companionship to attend a social activity. Check opportunities at https://www.volunteer.ie/volunteers/find-a-volunteer-role/
There are plenty of public libraries in Dublin and across Ireland that allow you to borrow a book. Are you just starting off with English? Reading long texts might be exhausting when you’re not used to a language. Not a problem! Imagine it like being alphabetised, again!
Start with kids books, there’s no shame in reading a nice, chilling, short and simple story! It will help you to build vocabulary and grammar little by little! Nice ones to start with and learning some of the Irish myths as a plus, titles like: Cu Chulainn, Etain and Midir, Finn and the Giant, Finn and the Wicked Fairy of Tara, Oisin and Tin na nOg, The Children of Lir, The Salmon of Knowledge.
The central public library at iLac centre in Dublin also holds language practice sessions! Check their timetable!
Listen to the radio!
Listen to the locals! You don’t need a radio, just your mobile phone and an app! Try: Radio Ireland Player App – Irish Radio FM
Hang out with locals and other foreigners!
Websites like couchsurfing.com and meetup.com are great start! But also, look around yourself, chat with whoever is close! Allow yourself to know people around you! At work, at school, the store across the road where you buy your coffee every morning, at the library (just be carefull with the noise :-P)
There’s also an app for making professional connections, like a Tinder of business, called Shapr. Give it a try!
Work with children or elder people.
There’s a big demand for child care and elder companionship that is also a formal paid job. If you like dealing with little or old ones, it could also be a possibility. Search for “childminder” or “home carer” jobs.