12 June 2016

7 Ways Combining Travel and Learning A New Language Will Make You A Better Traveller

Homestay learning and travel

How many people around the world dream about visiting London's Big Ben, shopping on Oxford Street, walking on Tower Bridge and riding along our London Underground system?! Millions if not billions of people have London, and the UK as whole on their travel wish list. How many of those people actually know about UK's homestays that help you learn and improve your English? Whether visiting as business traveller, student or even solo traveller The Language List's English homestays have got you covered!!! Before you even ask, no, this is not a sponsored post. I just love sharing new ways to improve your travel experiences. 

Travel,  for me is always a priority in my life, and because I travel often in the year I am a believer in fully immersing yours in the culture and life of local living, wherever I go and no matter the length of my stay. As part of that, I have always found it really important to be able to at least communicate with the locals in their language even if it's just hellos and goodbyes said in their language when meeting new people or buying things at the local market. Speaking English and travelling to so many countries where people speak English, I think sometimes you take that for granted and in a way almost expect others to speak it too. While trying to learn the local language I have also found that people want to also practice their English with tourists. As a lot of these people, much like me would like to get confident in speaking a new language. In a way, we or I forget that other people want to master their level of English when they do visit English speaking countries. Today we have apps and websites that teach us new languages but nothing beats that one-on-one interaction with a person, a human being that can that, not only teach you that language but also give you that added benefit of fully immersing yourself in the local life while learning that language. This is why combining English homestay learning with travel is such an awesome way to experience a destination.

I recently met one of the two Directors of The Language List Liza Franchi, who is very passionate about providing flexiblity, in both location and length of homestay, to provide a great way to master and learn English. As I said, many people dream about coming to learn English in England much like I fantasize about getting fluent in Italian and Arabic. Two languages that I am trying to learn, Italian since Secondary school and Arabic since University. For both of which, I have tried to improve with frequent visits to Italy and Dubai. I seriously believe, to fully grasp and improve language skills homestay is the best way to learn. I love that The Language List gives you an opportunity to get to know your chosen tutor before you live with them.  They offer flexibility on how long you stay, which many language agencies don't do, and great value too, staying with The Language List tutor is is cheaper than staying in a hotel while trying to learn a language at the same time. 

You certainly don't have to take my word for it, I have managed to not only get some quotes from their students but get another blogger to share their own benefits and experience of a homestay programme they did. In addition, I have also provided not 1 but 7 ways why combining travel and learning a new language that will not only make you a better traveller but will also help improve your confidence in speaking that language.

Quotes from homestay students on The Language List Programme(more here):

Homestay learning and travel
"One week before my arrival Erica sent me an email asking me about my specific needs. She was very nice and we agreed to visit the Seven Sisters and Lewes. We were already starting to know each other before my arrival.
Erica gave me to do a diagnostic test, so she was able to spot exactly where I needed help. Besides, I could decide how many hours per day to study, so the atmosphere was very relaxed but efficient at the same time." - Laura Satta, student on TLL homestay.

“I travelled to England to study english and I were living and studying english with Erica Clark and her wonderful family for 5 weeks. It was such a gorgeous experience! I learnt much more than only english I learnt about life in England, food, culture and people. I met wonderful and kind people in Lewes and I felt one more in Erica’s family. Erica is a great teacher kind, patient and flexible. I’ve never forget my time there.”   -   Paula Schmincke, student on TLL homestay.

“Hello! I’m Dmitriy from Ukraine. I visited Clarke family in April 2014. More hospitable and friendly people I have not seen before .To be honest, the first two days was a little bit stressful because I was trying to break down the language barrier and adjust my ear to gain a better understanding. Erica taught me 25 hours a week. I’d like to say that is quite a lot. We worked on grammar, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. After lessons we communicated with her friends thus I strengthened my knowledge which I’ve just obtained. I was plunged into the English environment, sometimes I even thought in English. Erica is a wonderful professional. I visited a lot of English courses where native speakers was in charge, you know but better teacher then Erica I haven’t met before. I spent only 2 weeks in Lewes with Clarke family but I feel that I know them for ages. Now Erica is my friend and I’m looking forward to meet her so she could test my knowledge of irregular verbs again.” - Dmitri Krator, student on TLL homestay.

The Two Scots Abroad on their experience of homestay while learning Spanish in Peru.

Homestay learning and travel
After two weeks in Peru it became apparent that our sporadic playing on the Duolingo app was not quite enough to survive off the gringo trail in South America! Craig and I signed up for a Spanish school in Cusco, Peru and to really take ourselves out from our comfort zone - applied for a homestay! For five days we lived with our wee Peruvian gran, Doris, and attended school from 9am to 1pm every day for an intense 2 - 1 programme with our tutor, Cesar. Cesar gave us homework each night, as we improved our tasks progressed from  paragraphs to essays and after that week I’d say we both felt pretty confident. So confident that we went on another homestay, this time on Taquile Island close to the floating islands of Puno. Unfortunately after South America, we spent six months in Canada, and we found it pretty challenging going back to a Spanish speaking country (Nicaragua) eight months after Peru. We would say we both can read Spanish pretty well, we just lack the confidence in speech, immersing yourself in a culture is the best way to learn so this Summer we are off to Spain - third time lucky! - Gemma from Two Scots Aboard, follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

7 Ways Combining Travel and Learning A New Language Will Make You A Better Traveller:

Homestay learning and travel

1. Hang out with local people. Homestays provide something different to what you would perhaps if you were staying in a hotel. Homestay means that you get to share meals with your hosts, as you live with them, meaning that you not only learn more about the culture but you live it too.

2. Improve your language skills. - With The Language List, full immersion learning, you will use your English in a variety of situations.

3. Learn about the culture and customs from locals. You can read about it all you want but nothing beats experiencing it for real and first-hand, and even better when you get an insight into local life from your host's on the homestay programme.

4. See the city and country beyond the usual 'must-see' tourist trails. Homestays have a way  that allows you to quickly settle in and quickly interact with locals, making you feel comfortable with a new city than perhaps you would do on your own.

5. The perfect solution for a solo traveller, business travellers and students alike. I love solo travel as much as the next person but there is something to be said about staying with someone that knows about the city and language when experiencing a new environment. Meet people and share experiences that certainly add to your skills in learning the new language.

6. Get your money's worth - The English Language List fee is only 15% of the total cost of the course.  This is much lower than the industry average, where students can be charged an extra 100% as an agency fee about twice the amount that the tutors are paid.

7. Feel right at home, away from home. The best way to experience life as a local in my opinion.

So have your experience home-learning or live-in learning before, what was that like?


  1. Great tips here which I still have to follow! Thanks for featuring us!

    1. Haha dont we all.. thanks for contributing.