Should I try and learn the language before I go?

Comments 2 Standard

Today I have been meeting some old University friends and I have been thinking about how different we all are. As in some of us have “grown up” much quicker and have found peace within ourselves. I am one of them; as I have improved myself by doing my TEFL qualification. I know that if I learnt the language; well have a try at learning the language. I have been thinking about learning Chinese; which dialect I have not decided yet as I don’t fully know which area I am going.

Have you ever thought of getting the basic of a language before you headed off on your TEFL adventure?! Is it worth it? I bet that it would make the settling in process easier if I did at least learn the basics. Actually I know that it would help me settle in; as I would be able to find out what “nut allergy” is and be able to read it on the packets!

2 thoughts on “Should I try and learn the language before I go?

  1. Hello,

    I am a recent college grad and currently an English teacher in Thailand. I came to Bangkok knowing only a few words of Thai. It didn’t turn out to be a problem, as the school really wanted me to teach my classroom in an emersion setting. They actually discourage me from speaking Thai at school, as they really want the students to be exposed to as much English as possible. You would be surprised how quickly you start to pick up the language anyway. I’ve been here for a few months now and can hold simple conversations (give/get directions, order food, make small talk, etc).

    In any case, I feel no learning is ever wasted, especially learning a new language. Chinese is difficult, but by no means impossible. Knowing at least a little bit would definitely help you feel more at home as you settle into your new surroundings. Check out for some really great online language programs. If you have a valid library card you can probably access it for free.

    Sorry for the long post, I just stumbled across your blog and got excited because I actually have some experience with this very issue. Best of luck with your TEFL adventure!

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