Developing Foreign Language Study Skills
§ Use each new word in a sentence.
§ Say the words out loud while studying.
§ Tape record the words and then listen to them.
§ Fold a page in half, write the words on one side, the definition or a synonym on the other.
§ Make use of the words as much as possible.
§ Make use of visual imagery (mental images) whenever possible.
- Take notice of accented words. (The use of accents needs to be stressed, because without it the word could have a different meaning.)
- Learn the sounds of the letters in the alphabet. Some foreign languages are phonetic (meaning the words are spelled the way they sound). Ex. Spanish.
- Review the reading; look for examples of new grammar.
- Try to use the form while practicing vocabulary.
- Try to identify the forms you already know.
- Use the new forms in written and spoken examples.
- Practice by making up your own examples.
Reading and Listening
- Get the general idea of the selection by reading through it before using the dictionary. .
- Avoid translating; try to get your native language out of your mind.
- Read aloud. This will help to pronounce unfamiliar words and remember them.
- Look for familiar words or roots of words.
- Only use the dictionary as a last resort. Try to understand the words in their context.
- Look for nonverbal cues.
- If you don't know a word, continue listening or reading; don't panic and miss the end of the statement.
- You won't be able to say as much in the foreign language as in English. Don't worry about sounding simplistic.
- Don't worry about the grammar; focus on getting your meaning across.
- Force yourself to talk and think to yourself in the foreign language.
- Whenever there's an opportunity speak to your friends or native speakers in the foreign language.
- Write everyday.
- Do self-tests.
- Highlight the key points of every chapter. .
- Create lists and study sheets; use devices like rhyming and association to help you remember.
- Carefully listen to everything that happens during class. Mentally try to answer all the questions asked.
Your best resource is your teacher, so use it!
- Carefully review the work of the day.
- Review previous work.
- Self test in writing the examples of that day.