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Tips on Studying a Foreign Language

Learning another language isn't easy, but most people can learn a second language IF they're willing to put in the necessary time. Here are some practical suggestions for learning the grammar and skills necessary for success in foreign language classes and in a study abroad context.

  1. STUDY every day! Language learning is cumulative: you cannot put it off until the weekend. Study 1 or 2 hours day if you want to master the language.
  2. DISTRIBUTE your study time in 15– to 30–minute periods throughout the day. Focus on a different task each time: vocabulary, grammar, etc. Get an overview during the first half hour: spend 10 minutes reviewing dialogue, 10 minutes learning vocabulary, 10 minutes learning grammar...so you'll at least have an overview. Approximately 80% of your study time should be spent in recitation or practice.
  3. PARTICIPATE – even if you are not well prepared. Join a conversation with native speakers or use the language as much as possible during everyday conversation.
  4. LEARN GRAMMAR. Even if you are abroad and using the language every day, learning the grammar will help you remember what you've learned later. Review a simplified grammar text in your mother tongue. Compare new grammatical structures in your foreign language to their equivalents in the language you are learning.
  5. PRACTICE. Over-learn: Study beyond the point of recognition to mastery.
  6. DEVELOP A GOOD ATTITUDE. Set personal goals for what you want to learn. Leave perfectionism at the door; give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them.
  7. GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT. Form study groups, use tutoring services. Don't wait!

Taken from iStudent101.com – Discover Reasons to Learn a Language

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