Last week I wrote a blog on joining in a new culture. To really become a capable language speaker you need to join the culture. However sometimes the other ex-patriots in my life become an obstacle to this.
I love my ex-patriot friends. I really do. But the one thing most of them are not very good for is my Turkish learning. And what I have found is that foreigners attract foreigners. Whether this is because of work, needing help or just for the comfort of familiar. Expats can be hard to escape. Whether they are foreigner who does not speak the language who you spend time with speaking English. Or whether they are a seasoned ex-pat and are being too helpful. But this I mean they always talk for you when you are out and about.
You need to find ways to get away. You need to get away from the English world. You did not move to place to learn English by Immersion to spend all your time in a tiny English ghetto. You came to assimilate.
Now I am not saying you should not spend time with people you like or who are like you. And if you are like me you still need help doing somethings. So what do you do? You need to remember what you are doing here.
I am living in Turkey and I am trying to learn the language here, pretty informally. There is one question we need to always be asking ourselves: Am I building a life where I do not really need Turkish? Every day this is the question. Because if the answer to the question is yes- then you will never learn it and you need to work a little hard to escape the ex-pat culture you are stuck in.