Maximise your learning outside the classroom
Remember, anything you enjoy doing in your native tongue can also be enjoyed in the language you’re learning. Whether it be reading a book or a blog, watching movies, playing computes games, meeting friends, or listening to music, the possibilities are endless. This approach will also get you to discover more about the culture of the people who speak the language you’re learning, which is always very interesting and rewarding.
Use at least an hour a day of your time studying your new language. You can spend time reading online newspapers, magazines or books. You can watch movies or your favourite series in your target language. This is a fun way to practice your new language and at the same time you are learning new words, phrases and pronunciation. Write sentences, paragraphs or texts depending on your level and give it to your teacher who will help you improve your writing. Listen to your favourite song in your target language and have fun practicing the pronunciation vocabulary and grammar in the song.
Make notes, have a note book:
There is a lot of vocab, grammar, expressions, etc, that you can better learn if you write everything down. This helps you to review what you did, and it also help you cement you learning in your mind.
Learn vocabulary in context:
Memorising lists of vocabulary can be challenging and is not an effective way to get the words to stay in your mind long term. Association is key to retain new words. A great way to build vocabulary is to make sure the words you’re learning come form situations. Make different sentences with the new vocabulary and use it in context.
Set your goals:
“I will watch this series/movie in this language by February.”
Set a new year’s resolution to sit a proficiency exam at the level you’re working towards, set weekly goals of how much time you will spend studying and what outcomes you will achieve. Buy a Practice Makes Perfect book and give yourself a deadline to complete it.
Homework helps you to deepen your learning and helps your teacher identify your weaknesses and work on them. Homework reinforces your learning and makes you more likely to remember what you’ve learned.
Label your house:
Put labels in your target language (without English translations) around your house and desk. It reminds you every time you open the fridge that the word in French is réfrigérateur. It’s just so easy to do! It really helps you a lot with vocabulary and spelling.
Change the language on your phone
Change the language settings on all your electronic devices so that you can pick yo words you already know in English but not in your new language.
Watch, listen, read and write in your chosen language:
Immersing yourself in a language means doing all of the activities you would normally do in your native tongue, through your new language. Keep watching movies and television shows. If you like soccer, for example, watch it in Spanish to keep the language fresh in your memory.