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Ten Foreign Language Study Tips

Learning a foreign language takes time and a lot of practice. Here are some language- learning
pointers that may help you as you learn a new language.
1. ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN CLASS WITHOT FAIL !
even if you are not well prepared. Class time is your primary opportunity for practice. The more
you speak the language, the easier it will become. There's no way to make up oral participation
and practice by reading the book.
". STD# E$ER# DA#%
thletes and musicians know the importance of practice. !ou also must practise a foreign
language every day. "e realistic in your e#pectations$ learning a new language takes time and
effort. !ou will not be able to speak fluently after only one semester, but you will know a lot
more and be more proficient than if you had not invested the time and effort. foreign
language course is different from any other course you may take. Language learning is
cumulative$ %tudy & or ' hours for every class hour to be a successful language learner.
&. LEARN AND RE$IEW NEW $OCA'LAR#.
(ake flash cards. )rite the foreign word on one side of each card and the *nglish on the other.
Learn the gender of all nouns +masculine or feminine, as you go. The best way to learn
vocabulary for keeps is to practise using it right away.
(. PRCHASE A )OOD DICTIONAR#.
-nce you get serious about learning a foreign language, you need to invest in a decent
dictionary +./,/// entries or more,. Learn how to use it0 Try not to think too literally and don't
1ust accept the first translation you see. 2ust as in *nglish, most words can mean more than one
thing.
*. LEARN EN)LISH )RA++AR IF #O DON,T ALREAD# -NOW IT.
3rammar is the skeleton of a language, its basic structure$ you must learn it. Learn the basic
grammar terminology 4 know what verbs, nouns, ad1ectives, adverbs, direct ob1ects are. )hen
you learn new verb con1ugations, practise writing them out in full 4 learn them like they are new
vocabulary, and ensure you know their meaning and how to spell them. This is especially true
for irregular verbs.
.. 'E PREPARED TO +A-E +ISTA-ES.
5on't be afraid to make mistakes while participating in class, but learn from the mistakes that
you do make. !our first ob1ective is to communicate, not to speak perfectly. 6emember that no
matter how many mistakes you make, wherever you go in the world your sincere attempts to
communicate in the native language of the country you visit will almost always be appreciated.
/. STD# OT LOD.
Talk or read aloud while you are studying. !ou double the efficiency of your learning ability if
you say the words while reading them. %tudying out loud also will improve your pronunciation,
your listening skills, your retention, your self-confidence, and it really doesn7t take much longer.
0. TR# TO NDERSTAND HOW #O LEARN.
8f you learn better orally, use listening tapes, C5s or videos to help you learn, and speak up as
often as possible. 8f you are a visual learner, focus more on the te#tbook, make flashcards, take
notes in class and write in the target language regularly.
1. SE FOREI)N LAN)A)E OTSIDE OF CLASS.
2oin a language club, watch a movie on %"% or read a newspaper or maga9ine in the language
you are trying to learn. Look up foreign-language websites 4 many are suggested in your te#t.
:ractise with a foreign student who wants your help to learn *nglish or with another class
member.
12. 'E)IN TO THIN- IN A FOREI)N LAN)A)E.
8ncorporating a new language into your lifestyle entails functioning in that language without
translating everything from your native language. Translating is time-consuming and ineffective
in real-life language e#changes. !ou can start by periodically naming the things that you see
during your daily activities. ;or e#ample, when you shop, name the items that you buy. %ilently
practise small talk and imagine conversations with others.
RE+E+'ER3
8f you follow these suggestions right from the start of your new language learning e#perience,
the fun will increase and each step will become easier than if you have to try to s<uee9e in
knowledge missed at the beginning. Learning another language opens the door to
understanding and appreciating other cultures while providing you with a new set of lenses to
e#amine your own cultural values and biases. !ou have mastered your native language, and
there is no reason why you can7t develop proficiency in a second language. 8t all depends on
your attitude and your willingness to commit yourself to doing the right kind of practice. -ne
si9e does not fit all, and individuals have to determine what learning strategies and activities are
most appropriate for them. However, if you incorporate the abovementioned tips into your study
sessions, you will be well on your way to a productive, en1oyable, and rewarding world language
e#perience.
Source: University of Wollongong http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/selpl/ml/UOW018!8.html