Tips For Studying A Foreign Language

Tips For Studying A Foreign Languagesun

Though many students may feel they have a mental block or even lack the aptitude for learning foreign languages, most can learn a second languageIFthey arewilling to put in the necessary time.Here are some practical suggestions for studying effectively, overcoming anxiety, and learning the grammar and skills necessary for success in foreign language classes.


1.STUDY EVERYDAY.A foreign language course is different from any other course you take.Language learning is cumulative:you cannot put it off until the weekend.Studyat least 30 minutes a dayif you want an A or B.


2.DISTRIBUTE YOUR STUDY TIMEin 15 minute intervals.Focus on a different task each time:vocabulary now, grammar next, etc.Get an overview during the half hour:spend 10 minutes reviewing, 10 minutes learning new vocabulary, 10 minutes learning new you’ll at least have looked at it all.Approximately 50% of your study time should be spent in recitation or oral practice.


3.ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN CLASS WITHOUT FAILClass time is your primary opportunity for practice.Learn the grammar and vocabulary outside of class in order to make the most of class time.Spend a few minutes “warming up” before each class by speaking or reading the language.


4.MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE IN THE CLASS.Get to know your classmates so you will feel you are among friends.Get the telephone numbers of other students in the class so that you can call them when you need help or when you have been absent.


5.LEARN ENGLISH GRAMMARif you don’t already know it.Grammar is the skeleton of a language, its basic structure; you must learn it.Review your English grammar textbook.Compare new structures in your foreign language to their English equivalents.If your English skills are weak, learning a foreign language will be much more difficult for you.


6.PRACTICE FOR TESTSby doing what you will have to do on the test.If the test will require you to write, then study by writing—including spelling and accents.If you will be asked to listen, then practice listening. *Study to the point that you don’t have to even think about it—study to the point of mastery.


7.GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT.Talk with your teacher.Form study groups among class members.Use tutoring services.Don’t wait until you are failing!




LISTENING and SPEAKINGare performance skills.You may do well at these if you are naturally out-going.Students in foreign language classes often have difficulty hearing and speaking because they are anxious about making mistakes.Give yourself permission to be spontaneous and to take risks.



·Participate silently in class when others are called on to speak.Focus on the task; don’t worry about how you’ll do.

·If you feel nervous, relax yourself physically by taking a couple of slow, deep breaths.When called on, pause, relax, and give yourself time to respond.

·Listen while a friend dictates to you and write what you hear.Check for accuracy.

·Practice:watch foreign language TV; listen to foreign radio, etc.



·Study out loud!!!Mimic the sounds of the language.Don’t mumble.Although most people feel embarrassed making strange sounds, the language will soon feel more familiar to you.

·When called on in class, say something, even if it’s wrong:you’ll learn from it.If you need a moment to think, repeat the question.
·Practice with a foreign student who wants your help to learn English or with another class member.




READINGand WRITINGa foreign language are analytical skills.You may be good at these if you are a logical person who attends toDETAIL.Train yourself through practice to notice and remember details such as accents and gender agreement.



·First, read the vocabulary list for the assignment.Next, read the questions over the reading.Then read all the way through a new passage two or three times, guessing at meaning from context.Avoid word-for-word translation.

·Isolate new vocabulary and study it separately.Don’t write between the lines.Make flash cards.Carry them with you and recite them several times during the day at odd moments.Over learn them until they are automatic.

·Isolate new grammatical forms and study them separately.Write the pattern on aflash cardand memorize it. Write out and label a model sentence.When you encounter the form while reading pause and recite the pattern to recognize the form.



·Pay attention to detail: notice accents, order of letters, etc.Compare letter-by-letter different forms (singular, plural, gender, etc.).Write out conjugations of verbs, declensions of pronouns, etc. and check your endings.Memorizeirregular verbs.

·To master spelling, have a friend dictate words to you.Write them out and immediately have your friend spell them correctly aloud while you look carefully and point at each letter.Repeat until you get all the words right.