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Unlocking Language Proficiency: A Guide for Language Students at Queen’s

Hola amigos! My name is Éadaoin and I’m here to share my top tips on elevating your language skills as a language student at Queen’s.

School of Modern Languages sign

Queen's Language Centre

Queen's Language Centre goes beyond traditional classroom learning, offering language students a valuable resource for linguistic exploration. This dynamic hub provides a diverse range of opportunities to strengthen and broaden language skills. With classes ranging from beginner to advanced levels in numerous languages, the Centre allows students to delve deeper into grammar, conversation, and cultural nuances. By participating in these classes, you can receive additional support on your linguistic journey.                 

Why study a language at Queen's?

Language Societies

Another avenue to enhance your language journey at Queen's is through participation in our many language societies. These vibrant communities bring together passionate language students into a supportive environment to share experiences, practice speaking, and foster a deeper connection with their chosen language. Joining a language society not only provides an opportunity for cultural exchange but also opens doors to language-related events, workshops, and social gatherings.

Spanish and Portuguese society event banner

The Spanish and Portuguese Society at Queen's regularly organises events

Office Hours

Teachers often hold office hours specifically to provide additional support to students. Whether you need help with assignments, want to discuss language-related concerns, or seek advice on effective study strategies, these office hours are an underutilised resource. Take the initiative to attend these sessions and build a rapport with your teachers. Establishing a connection outside the classroom can make it more comfortable to seek help when needed.

International students in the Graduate School, spring 2022

Take advantage of your tutor's office hours

Netflix and Podcasts

Beyond formal education and society engagements, integrating language learning into your daily life is crucial. Platforms like Netflix offer a treasure trove of content in multiple languages. Watching shows or movies in your chosen language exposes you to colloquial expressions, diverse accents, and cultural contexts that might not be covered in traditional classroom settings. This immersive experience not only reinforces your language skills but also makes learning enjoyable and relatable.

Podcasts, on the other hand, provide an excellent way to sharpen your listening skills. Whether you're commuting, exercising, or relaxing, tuning in to podcasts in your target language exposes you to authentic conversations, diverse vocabulary, and regional accents. The versatility of podcasts allows you to explore topics ranging from language and culture to current affairs, catering to your specific interests. In the digital age, language learning has transcended traditional textbooks.

Netflix screen showing international films

Learn to watch without subtitles!

Take advantage of language learning applications, online platforms, and educational websites to supplement your studies. Platforms like Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone offer interactive lessons and exercises that can complement your classroom learning.

Seize Study Abroad Opportunities

If the chance arises, consider studying abroad for a semester or participating in an exchange programme. My Erasmus experience in Barcelona was a game-changer for my Spanish proficiency. Immersing myself in a Spanish-speaking environment accelerated my language acquisition and provided a firsthand understanding of the culture. Queen's University facilitates study abroad opportunities, offering an invaluable chance to enhance linguistic abilities while experiencing life in another country.

Group of students on team building day in Barcelona as part of Erasmus

My trip to Spain through Erasmus was a game-changer

In conclusion, my most significant piece of guidance is to prioritise consistency, as enhancing your linguistic skills is a gradual journey that thrives on steady effort. Develop a language routine that incorporates a blend of formal classes, participation in society events, and casual immersion through activities like watching Netflix and listening to podcasts. Allocate dedicated time each day for language practice, encompassing activities such as reading, writing, speaking, or listening.

By maintaining a consistent approach, you'll establish a robust foundation and steadily advance towards proficiency. Overall, seize the opportunities presented by Queen's University Belfast and fully engage in the myriad language-rich experiences available to you.

Find out more

Study International Business with Spanish

The Language Centre at Queen's

Éadaoin Kelly

International Business & Spanish | Undergraduate Student | Donegal, Ireland

Hola! My name is Éadaoin Kelly, I’m from Donegal and on a mission to make the most out of my final year of uni while sharing my experiences with you. I'm studying International Business and Spanish and I recently spent a year abroad completing an internship as part of my degree.

Some of my hobbies are painting, playing guitar, learning new languages and reviewing hidden coffee spots around Belfast!



Éadaoin Kelly