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Reading and Writing

Reading Skills Tips

  1. Thoroughly read a new passage a few times. Avoid word-by-word translation. Instead, find the main idea.
  2. Insolate new vocabulary. Study new words separately by making flash cards.
  3. Isolate new grammatical forms and study the structure separately. Write the pattern and label a model sentence. While reading, pause and recite the pattern to recognize the form.

Writing Skills Tips

  1. Focus on detail: notice accents and compare different forms (singular, plural, gender, etc.). Write conjugated verbs and memorize irregular verbs.
  2. Have someone dictate ten words. Write out the words immediately and check for correction.
  3. Write a story you just read in your own words using the simple vocabulary words.

Listening and Speaking are performance skills

Students of foreign languages often have difficulty hearing and speaking because they're anxious about making mistakes. It's OK to make mistakes, have fun trying to speak. Being abroad is a great opportunity to practice!

  1. Listening Skills Tips

    Have someone dictate to you and write the sentences. Practice by watching the host country’s TV shows.

  2. Speaking Skills Tips
    • Study audibly and mimic the sounds. As a result, the language will soon be more familiar.
    • Speak up even if the word or sentence is wrong. Repeat the question and if you do not know the answer, ask for help.
    • Practice with a native speaker.

Taken from Cope Powell, Jo Ann. Tips on Studying a Foreign Language. The University of Texas at Austin Learning Center as cited in – Tips on Studying Language


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