HOW TO STUDY A FOREIGN LANGUAGE



Here are some of my tips for studying a foreign language. You can follow these to help you be successful in class and I encourage you to edit this page and add things that you find helpful when studying German.

Learning a foreign language is a lot like learning to play a musical instrument or a sport. It requires regular practice! Your ability to understand and communicate in German will increase each day -- if you are willing to use the language! Here are some recommendations for studying the language!


PRACTICE EVERY NIGHT. Think of how many years you've been speaking English..14-18 years ...24 hours a day. You've not only been speaking it all this time, but you've also been dreaming in it and hearing it constantly. Now, can you confidently say that you know every single word of your native language? Probably not! When studying a foreign language, you attempt to learn an entire language in 4 or 5 years, 1 hour per day, 5 days per week. Due to the short time spent actively involved with the foreign language, you must practice using it on a regular basis...and as much as possible - There are four parts to a language - reading, writing, speaking and listening - and there are many different ways to practice each! Pick a skill you would like to focus on and try practicing! Watch a youtube video or read an article listen to a podcast or speak to someone ok skype!

Take advantage of class time. Listen carefully when new material is presented, and take notes, if appropriate. Ask the teacher questions, and ask yourself whether or not you really understand. If you are given class time to start an assignment, do it! That way, you will be able to ask the teacher for help.

Speak German as much as possible. Once you have learned the phrases such as “I have a question.” ( Ich habe eine Frage? ) and “May I sharpen my pencil?” (Darf ich mein Bleistift spitzen?) you should use them, rather than English especially in German class - use it when talking with friends in your class or who have had German before!
A good rule is "Try to say what you can, not what you want to!"

Don’t expect to understand everything. Try not to become frustrated when you don’t understand something the teacher says. You aren’t expected to understand everything! Your comprehension will improve over time, so be patient. Remember, you may not understand everything - but you can understand alot from context.

Expect to make some mistakes! Mistakes are a normal part of the learning process. You and I will make alot of mistakes while working in German class. Don't be afraid of them! As long as you can get your point across of what you are trying to say then you were successful! The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and try to use it correctly next time!

Learn to make some intelligent guesses. There are hundreds of cognates (words that look or sound the same as their English equivalents). Learn to recognize them and use them.

Expect some language and cultural differences. This may be your first contact with another language and culture, so it may surprise you to learn that English is odd, and has many exceptions, and our culture is different, rather than the other way around.

Practice every day ESPECIALLY OUT LOUD! You didn’t master the English language without a lot of repetition and practice, and the same will be true of learning a foreign language. Spend 15-20 minutes reviewing, in addition to doing assigned homework.

Experiment to find your own learning style. Some of you may need to write new words five or more times in order to learn them, and others may find flash cards more helpful. The important thing is to use what works best for you. Here are some suggestions:

• Make flash cards, with a picture on one side and German on the other side - a picture instead of the word in English is faster and easier way to memorize vocabulary - that way you have to think in the foreign language which is the point of learning one!

• Write out the answers to textbook exercises - don't just take the shortcut - write out the whole answer! Practice saying it out loud too!
- www.studyblue.com is a great resource! You can make your own flashcards with pictures and study them anywhere - on your computer - or on the go with their mobile apps for iOS or android -

• Correct and / or redo homework exercises - if you have something marked wrong - try to correct it!

• Review textbook exercises that were done in class

• Say words aloud as you study them

• Look at pictures in magazines or newspapers and try to describe them in the foreign language.

• Study outside of class with a partner


• Do the online practice exercises that I have organized for your chapter you are doing!


Get organized! Keep your notebook and other materials in order, and bring them to class.


GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT. DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE !

I know that when I study a language I try to describe things I see in my everyday life especially using adjectives. I try to connect things that I see every day to the language that I am studying. I even walk through stores and try to name the products or describe them in the language!


Here is an article with more ideas and ways you can practice/use the language you are learning at home! - There are many ways to help you learn and be successful in a foreign language!

Another way is if you use Google Chrome to surf hte web this add on is an awesome FREEapp! How Google Chrome Can Help You Learn a New Language

Try some of these Foreign Language Learning "hacks" to help you. Maybe there is a different learning style listed here that could be beneficial to you!