How to Pass a Foreign Language Class

Part 1

Learning Techniques

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    Work on vocabulary. Knowing the meanings of words is the foundation of your language study. Try to learn a group of words that are related to each other. You’ll be more likely to remember them.[1]

    • If you already have some language experience and want to build your vocabulary, spend time reading in the language. Look up words you don’t know. Experts suggest that free reading is the most effective if you already know 3000 to 5000 words in the language.[2]
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    Use note cards. A classic way to learn a large number of words is to make flashcards. Write the word on one side and write the definition on the other. To make the meaning easier to remember, try to include an image. Have someone quiz you or just go through the cards on your own until you’ve mastered them.[3]

    • For verbs, try writing all the different tenses on the side of the card where you’ve written the English definition. That way, you have to recall the forms of the verb as well as the definition.
    • Use different colors to indicate different types of words. For example, use different colors to indicate the gender of nouns, prepositions, verbs, etc. This will help you recall important vocabulary information.
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    Learn grammar. Simply put, grammar makes up the rules of a foreign language. While vocabulary is important, it’s also critical to understand how these words interact. For example, words may mean different things when placed in different orders in a sentence. You’ll need to learn the rules that are specific to your foreign language in order to effectively read, write, and understand the language.[4]

    • Use memory tricks to memorize key grammar rules (like mnemonics, learn word associations, and study grammar in context).
    • Listen to the way native speakers speak the language. Pay attention to word order and the gender of nouns.
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    Study on a regular basis. Keep study sessions short, but frequent. Try to review the material from each class at least every few days. You don’t need to sit down and study for hours at a time. Instead, stay focused and keep the study session brief. For example, spend 10 minutes every day going over your class notes or spend 30 minutes at the end of the week to review all the material you covered.

    • Studying on a regular basis will make you feel more prepared and make it easier to build on information the instructor gives. This is especially important with foreign languages.
    • Avoid cramming the night before an exam. While you may be able to study information to pass an exam, researchers argue that you won’t be able to remember the information for very long.[5]
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    Take effective notes. There’s no right or wrong way to take notes, but you should develop a style that works for you. While your notes don’t need to be perfectly written, you should be able to read and understand them later on. Your notes should include the main points of the lesson with plenty of details so you understand the concepts later.[6]

    • You can develop your own system of abbreviations so you can take faster notes. If you’re having trouble keeping up with the instructor’s pace, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask the instructor to repeat something.
    • Taking notes will help you follow along in class and engage with the material. If you miss a class, make sure to ask a classmate for good notes from the class.
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    Find what what works for you. Try a variety of study techniques. Once you’ve found what helps you learn, use a combination of tactics. For example, maybe you’ve discovered that using flashcards to learn vocabulary didn’t help you. Instead, you might learn best by repeatedly writing down words and placing them all around your home.[7] You might also try learning through:

    • Reading stories in the language.
    • Mnemonics (devices to help you memorize).
    • Writing vocabulary into sentences so you have context.
    • Repetition
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    Manage your time. Set aside plenty of time for the class. This doesn’t just mean time to attend class. It should also include time to study and prepare for the class, time to do homework, and time that you may need to meet up with a study group or the instructor to get help. Set a schedule and stick to it, so you’re not rushing to finish an assignment or get ready for an exam.

    • Don’t forget the importance of rest. Research shows that people are able to learn and retain language better when they get plenty of sleep.[8] The National Sleep Foundation recommends that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep, while teenagers need 8 to 10 hours.[9]


Source: wikihow. com

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