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International Students’ Language Barrier

How to Overcome the Challenge of International students’ language barrier in College

One of the greatest challenges that international college students face while studying abroad is the international students’ language barrier. It is vital for a student from another country to understand the language of the native community. Learning the local language will assist you in the socialization and communication process.

The native language will also help you to interact with the locals and get through the city and other premises easily. One of the things you need to get right as you learn the new language is the local dialect. It helps you to pronounce the words well and get the language right.

The learning process may take some time but the effort and time you put in is worth it. It is not easy for an adult to learn a new language in a foreign land. However, we have a few tips that can assist you in coping with the challenge of language barrier. This text presents you with a list of things you need to do to overcome this problem.

Enroll in Extra Classes

Enrolling in extra classes that teach the native language is the best way of overcoming the challenge of international students’ language barrier. You may come across several colleges that offer international students with refresher courses that assist them to learn the new language. Enrolling in such classes will help you to socialize easily, and hence adapt to college life within the shortest time possible.

You can also get other independent classes that can assist you to advance in the native language. Most of these colleges charge a small fee for the service they render to you. It’s advisable to meet this cost but interact freely with your colleagues and tutors. Understanding the native language plays a great role towards your academic excellence.

Interact and Associate

Another simple way of learning the native language is interacting and associating more with the locals. Being very close to people from the native land is a good way of overcoming the challenge of international students’ language barrier. You should make so many friends with individuals who understand the local language well and are willing to teach you.

It is advisable to keep on chatting with the locals whenever you get an opportunity. Try talking their language and they will correct you when you make mistakes. You can never learn the new language if you isolate yourself from the natives. Learning from mistakes is the best way of understanding and practicing a new language.

Private Tutor or tandem Partner

You can also look for a tutor or tandem partner to assist you in learning the new language. The advantage of a private teacher is that you have a one on one interaction with him. You are free to ask as many questions as you want, and he will explain or translate them to you.

On the contrary, a tandem partner is an individual who is also interested in learning your language. It gives both of you an opportunity to learn from each. You can always be talking your language as he talks his. This is an interesting and interactive way of learning from one another and overcoming the international students’ language barrier.

Join Clubs and Teams

It’s also advisable to join teams and clubs that participate in extracurricular activities. Such activities may include debate, drama, and sports just to name a few. These interactions give you a good opportunity to learn with a lot of ease.

The advantage of joining such social activities is that you are not under pressure to internalize. The learning process takes its course naturally. You end up overcoming the international students’ language barrier without a lot of struggles.

Use Teaching Aids

One way to grasp new concepts and overcome the international students’ language barrier very fast is using teaching aids. You can come up with a long list of the things that you interact with on a day-to-day basis. Hang the pictures and their respective names in your room. As you move in and out, you will be reminding yourself of how these things are called in the local language.

Speak Slowly and Clearly

As you learn the new language, you should start by speaking slowly and clearly. You may be under pressure but never be in a hurry while talking. Miscommunication and misunderstanding may force you to spend more time and money to learn the new language. Being in a hurry may confuse you and make you lose more than you are gaining.

Ask For Clarification

Whenever you are not sure of something, it’s good always to seek for clarification from the native speakers. You should never assume that you know something when you are not one hundred percent sure.

Always Check for Understanding

Both parties have to understand each other for an effective communication process to take place. Always make sure you understand what the natives are saying before you respond. In addition, you should conform to the locals whether they have gotten your intended message. You can assume that you are communicating when in real sense are lost due to international students’ language barriers.

Avoid Jargons at Initial Stages of Learning

There are words that are very difficult and rarely used while communicating. You should not waste a lot of time grasping these words at the initial stages of learning. Such an approach may discourage you from learning the native language. Start with simple words and the other vocabularies will come with time as learning continues.

Set Learning Targets

It’s good to set targets for yourself in everything you do in life. Lay down a clear strategy on how much you want to learn within a specific period. You should also draw a clear road map on how you want to achieve these results. You should also develop a good appraisal tool to assist you to measure your achievement against the set targets. This will help you to ensure that you are making progress on a daily basis.


Most students have concentration problems because they feel out-of-place due to the international students’ language barrier. The best way to handle this challenge is learning the local language. This paper has discussed several approaches that can assist you to grasp the local language with a lot of ease.

You can decide to either use one technique or several approaches in learning the native language. Your choice depends on the resources that are at your disposal. Learning the local language will go a big way in ensuring that you excel in your class work.

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