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Mastering learning a language

Your Study Guides and Strategies starts here! Learning to learn series Language learning strategies In learning a language, we follow the advice that practice makes perfect, and patience is a helpful virtue. The world can be your classroom—through home or school. Explore these options to find strategies of learning and using a language that match your interests, strengths and challenges. Use the Internet and technology as an environment to make your tasks fun and interesting. Skills include listening, speaking, memorization, reading, writing, and test taking. At the beginning memorization and repetition are important, but do not be discouraged if you seem to go too slowly. Listening and understanding Practice listening! Infants “listen” for more than a year before they can say anything close to “mom” or “dad”. Watch videos and listen to music in your language, download Internet files with “speech” in the language. Try to recognize words, even sounds. Don’t bother trying to understand, just get used to the sound of the language. Use the language lab. Prepare yourself by reading exercises, then put them aside and listen. Only speak or write when asked to. When others in class speak, listen for what they say and mentally build images of their answers—in the language itself. Listen while a tutor or friend reads to you— maybe even something as simple as a children’s book. Make friend with a native speaker and practice! Practicing listening when learning a language an essential component to both understanding and reproducing sounds, as well as the rhythm, accent and inflections of speech. Not everyone has access to a native speaker, class or lab-but your desktop, laptop and handheld technologies can help. Listening practice Download a media program that has the text of what is said. Review the text one sentence at a time and familiarize yourself with the vocabulary. (Study the grammar as a separate exercise and focus now on the listening/speech) Follow a sentence several times while listening until you are comfortable with its pronunciation in the context of the sentences. Without looking into the transcript, repeat the sentence (say it aloud) exactly as you heard it. Record your best effort and compare. Listen to the text in short paragraphs or chunks. Look away and try to summarize in your words the content. Record and listen to your summary for review. Listen to the whole conversation or story without interruption. Summarize this "whole" and record, listen and compare. Speaking Reading silently is not productive: use your voice! Read aloud: think of it as training your mouth to make the new sounds! Drills: Learn a short standard sentence, then substitute vocabulary, even words you look up for fun. Subject and verbs can change (I am going; you are going; etc.)
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and vocabulary! Develop writing assignments with the seven stages in your language Write out sentences you have practiced orally. make sure you use the article! Create a visual thesaurus.) In class.studygs. images. or is singular/plural. acrostic. Separately develop a vocabulary list as above. Draw an image of a new vocabulary word Create a concept map of a word with synonyms. opposites. etc. or use your new language to say that you don’t know. even twice. Do not write in your text book or reading. but read for the story. Practice writing these alphabets to both learn correct orthography (correct writing). chaining Reading Do not read word-by-word. prepare a standard response that you can fall back on. use it! When you get corrections. then if you see repetitive vocabulary. and have common vocabulary that gives you a sense of what is written. Do not look up vocabulary while reading. or translate word-by-word. Correct what you got wrong. review the advance questions. (Google advance search will let you enter key words and choose a language for results!) Read/sing song lyrics of the language! As your skills advance. even repeating in order to embed it in your mind. Find several examples of the rule www. not in language pairs (for example. Read a chapter. etc. and if the word has gender. rhymes. Prepare yourself for a reading: study its vocabulary first. Go beyond your textbook! Children’s books are illustrated and easy to read! Websites are rich opportunities to explore your hobbies in other languages. re-write them. image-naming. you will forget about vocabulary for the most part. loci. etc. I buy a CD. Carefully construct patterns and then write out the sentences with substitute words--multiple times. refrigerator. giving your brain time to work in the new language.net/langlearn. look it up and then read again. car. computer. Memorizing: acronym. Writing Some languages have unfamiliar alphabets and ways of writing. scenes. FrenchEnglish). If you have spell check and the “autocorrect” grammar feature in your word processing. or need help! For this last. Then put aside everything and just read. but be prepared to respond to a question that follows your response! Stay in the mind set of the language. Grammar Read a short clear easily understandable explanation of a grammar rule.٢٠١٣/​ ١١/​ ٢٠ Mastering learning a language Objects can change (I buy a car. read novels. Write out the definition. As you advance through the novel. Look up new words and their definitions in the new language’s dictionary or online. Vocabulary Be inventive in acquiring new words Post note cards around your room to learn and identify what is in the room. not vocabulary.htm 2/4 . Speak the list. keywords. if your “answer” does not come to mind repeat the question in the language. Add one synonym or antonym. Read a phrase or sentence as a �thought� to get its sense or meaning.

The language will gradually become clearer in your brain as new connections are made. If you know how to categorize the grammar rule. MP3. or cannot yet understand.net/langlearn. or even a family member. Watch videos and movies in your new language . Technology Create flash cards whether digital or on paper Explore using your IPod. That is the greatest guarantee of success. use “old” vocabulary to practice new grammar Study with a friend. Learn the words to popular songs and sing along! Environment Immersion! Think of creating an environment in your room where you can be in contact with your language. or in conversations you could have with a friend. look up your hobby. but this will happen on a schedule that you cannot control. or cannot yet say. exploring (shopping!) by yourself or a companion who does not speak your language. speak. You are learning and improving. This is the role of a teacher or native speaker! Think of building your skill set Basics lead to more complicated variations: for example. Create variations or your own examples. etc. writing. Would an athlete object when his or her coach corrected certain moves? So also learning an instrument needs direction from a popular musician. stories. neighborhood and education centers. national halls. Some studies have even showed results during sleep! Check out iPhone apps! Use the Internet. research for other subjects you are studying. vocabulary. grammar. and getting correction. Study abroad One of the biggest mistakes students make in study abroad programs is to hang out with those from their school in the new country. Play games. Just make sure you spend enough time with the language. etc. asking for a dorm with local students. Ask the teacher which skill (listening.studygs.) is tested! Prepare specifically for that skill. speaking. and at moments when you are waiting or walking or biking. in a group. etc. etc. meeting students in the country. CD in the language in your car. consular offices. search the Web for more examples in dialogues. involving yourself in speaking and listening. etc. Visit centers and organizations that cater to foreign nationals and immigrants International student centers.٢٠١٣/​ ١١/​ ٢٠ Mastering learning a language Check whether you have mastered the examples Create your own examples drawn from your daily life. search for websites. Play a game online or in the group in the language Relax and enjoy yourself! Do not worry about what you cannot remember. Get the most out of your trip by living with a family (home stay). So sit back and enjoy. language and bi-lingual associations. Risk! Be fearless in making mistakes. Study daily—develop a foreign language habit Think of studying as you would for a sport or music: a series of skills that need practice! Don’t miss a class! And get to know at least one other student to study with. essays. library. read newspapers. Don’t. classmate. Tests Testing in language learning often expects you to write. www.htm 3/4 .

Landsberger.) What the Research Shows.tpr-world.com/brain-research. in Study Guides and Strategies.net/ | japanesedictionary.cfm? pageid=4524 See also: Learning to learn | Succeeding in continuing education | Visual/spatial learning | Learning as a student-athlete | Learning as an adult | Learning with ADHD | Active learning | Action learning | Language learning strategies Exploring your personal learning style | Learning folder www. 2009.studygs.htm 4/4 . Resources: koreandictionary. 2009.net/ | russiandictionary. (n.d. (n.d. retrieved November 4. retrieved November 4.net/language.) Cross language resources including digital translators.) Breakthrough in Brain Research: Learning Languages Without Stress.htm Asher. Joe. from http://www.d. 2009. In American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. James J. from http://www.net/langlearn.html Kibler.٢٠١٣/​ ١١/​ ٢٠ Mastering learning a language But be safe: ask advice about where to go and what to do. Amanda and Philipose.org/ | spanishdictionary. Sandy.actfl.studygs. (n.net/ | germandictionary.org/i4a/pages/index. retrieved November 4.org/ | chinesedictionary. from http://www.org/ Portions adapted from contributions by Mike Shelby. In Total Physical Response.