Hi there, this is Keshia writing, the intern at Russian Language Academy Durbe 🙂
Almost every year I want to study a new language and continuously deepen my knowledge of the ones I already speak in. Combine this passion with my never-ending love for traveling and exploring different cultures and, thus, it is not very surprising that traveling around, living in different places and learning languages is something I really enjoy doing. I think a language exchange abroad is a great opportunity to combine your interest in learning a foreign language and getting to know a new culture, traditions food, all at the same time.
I was lucky enough to have spent almost four months at Russian Language Academy Durbe in Riga studying Russian. I greatly enjoyed my language lessons and my Russian improved a lot while being here and give credit to the great teachers and the lessons I received here. From the first minute, everything is spoken, explained, discussed only in Russian, and we actively participate in discussions and activities that allowed us to practice our Russian pronunciation and intonation. If we did not understand something or were lost our teacher explained and gave examples only in Russian. I am not going to lie – it was very intense, especially at the beginning, to participate 4 lessons and at times very difficult yet when you first realize how fast your language skills improve, that’s such an awesome feeling. You’ll learn and improve quickly because you’ll be completely immersed in the language.
The method the teachers are working with at RLA Durbe is called the Commutative method or Communicative approach. This approach is based on how we learn our first language, as opposed to how we might learn the multiplication tables. In my experience, the result was a much more relaxed classroom environment and to the high-level of exposure to Russian, this method has been found to greatly improve my vocabulary, grammar and of course my confidence of using Russian.
When you are abroad, it is fulfilling to communicate with local people in their own language. You understand their culture better and become a part of it. You begin to understand how big the world is, how many people and ideas and mindsets are out there. Your own understanding of the world also changes; it feels smaller and more interesting! The new language connects you to the place, you can read the ads, newspaper, local news and discuss issues pertaining to the area you are in.
Have you ever done a language exchange abroad? Or are you dreaming of doing one? Let us know by leaving your comment on our FB page!