How To Improve Performance In A Foreign Language
You should be able to learn more and make better grades by using the following suggestions:
A Preparing for class (studying):
1. Read more for ideas than for the meaning of isolated words. Try to guess at unfamiliar words so as not to interrupt the flow.
2. When you must look up a word, write it in a special section of your vocabulary notebook.
3. Reread a passage after you have looked up the words. This should make it easier to read and help you remember the passage.
4. Recite lessons aloud to reinforce vocabulary, accent, intonation, etc.
5. Memorize---memorize---memorize (vocabulary words, verb forms, infinitives, verb endings)
6.Spend time writing and reciting in your foreign language every day. Develop a study routine that reinforces what you are learning on a daily basis.
7. Use foreign language phrases and expressions in your conversations (the more you use them, the better you will learn them).
8. Teach a friend or relative what you have learned for fun and reinforcement.
B. In class:
1 .Be there! Absences put you far behind, and it is hard to catch up with the class again.
2. Be prepared- have all materials you need available when class starts.
3. Quit thinking in English and think in the foreign language.
4. Do not stop to figure out any particular word. Listen to all that is said. Frequently, the context will help you discover the meaning of the word in the same way you do in English.
5. Write down words and phrases the teacher emphasizes in the foreign language.
6. Try to define a word with a simpler word in the foreign language rather than in English.
7. Watch the teacher when she is talking (many times you can figure out what is being said by gestures being made)
8. Remain calm! Be patient! Everyone goes through a listening period before being able to speak.
C. For written assignments:
1. Read the directions and questions very carefully, making sure you understand them.
2. Look up any words in the directions if you are not familiar with them
3.Proofread everything carefully.
4. Keep your dictionary handy and use it often.
5. Double check all sentences to see that they are complete. (Ask yourself, " Does this sentence have a subject and a conjugated verb?")
D. When studying for a test:
1. Do not plan to learn everything in one night. Foreign language study requires a daily reinforcement of at least 15 minutes of concentration on writing and reciting.
2. Use index cards to make flash cards for vocabulary words and verbs to help you memorize them.
3. Say the words aloud. This will strengthen your recall through use of visual and auditory channels.
4. Have a friend or classmate, or relative call out the English word and you provide the foreign word.
5.Write English and matching foreign language vocabulary in columns. Cover first one side, then the other, to see if you can recall the matching words.
E. Taking a test:
1.Read the directions for each section very carefully. If you are not sure of a question, ask the teacher.
2.Answer the questions you are sure of first and go back to any that puzzle you.
3. If you are not sure of the spelling of a word, leave it alone. The more you look at it and change, the more likely you will tend to misspell it.
4. Speak slowly and take special care with your accent and intonation on an oral test.
5. Listen for the whole idea when taking listening comprehension tests. Form mental pictures that will help you recall details.
F. Lab work:
1. Relax and listen carefully to the teacher or tape.
2. Do not translate or stop listening when you hear a word you do not know. Listen for the whole idea as you would in English.
3.Talk as much as you can in the foreign language. The more you use the language the faster you will learn. Do not be afraid to make mistakes-be brave- keep talking!
4.Concentrate on oral participation. -Even when reciting oral drills, think about what you are saying.
5. Read words and phrases as you are reciting them.
6. Listen attentively to every word and phrase in a discussion. Treat it as though you were listening to an interesting conversation. When you are not answering the question aloud, give a silent mental response.
7. Be enthusiastic in your dialogue. Have expression in your voice, even if you are just repeating a phrase.
8. Try to imitate exactly what you hear. This is your best chance to work on your accent.