Just following a few lessons is not enough to learn to speak a new language fluently. To master a foreign language requires effort, perseverance and patience. But by cleverly using your energy, focusing well and breaking a few habits, you can get the most out of your time in the classroom. That way, you can quickly master the language.
Here are our proven tips to get the most out of the lesson:
- Make smart use of your word lists
If you learn new words in class, you think you will never forget them again. Unfortunately, the practice is more stubborn. Words often come in such large quantities that it is impossible to put them all in your head immediately and forever. But when you write them down first, they stay better. Creating word lists is therefore a great way to learn a language. And do you know what is even better? Actually use those lists!
To make the best use of your word lists, you can best categorize new words and link them to their meanings. That way your brain can process them all. A few methods are:
- Divide your page into three columns, with the word on the left, the grammatical meaning in the middle (whether it is a noun, verb or adjective) and the definition. As soon as you learn a new word, you add this to your list: ‘surgeon – noun – a doctor who performs operations’, for example. Hold your hand on one of the columns to hear yourself.
- Give new words a certain color, depending on their purpose: their grammar, their subject (traveling, working or eating and drinking for example) or use (slang, formal or informal language). By using the same colors you will quickly recognize related words and you can hear yourself more easily.
- Strengthen your memory by using the word in a sentence. Has your teacher cast the word in a certain context or has an image drawn? Take over. By memorizing a word in a certain context, you prevent it from going into one ear and the other ear.
- Dodge Fellow Students Who Speak The Same Language:
Maybe you follow a language course abroad and you have become good friends with someone else from your native country. Very nice, but try to prevent yourself from working together in class! Why? If you consult with someone who speaks your native language, you no longer have to challenge yourself and you will always be inclined to fall back on your own language. And at that while it is very brave to step down on someone you do not know and with whom it is a lot more difficult to have a conversation! This way you can avoid being a chatter, and you will be more focused and you will work harder to communicate in the language you are not much familiar with.
- Talk, talk, talk
Now we do not mean that you have to be such a student who is chatting all day long, the teacher always interrupts and takes over the lesson completely. That is not so friendly towards your fellow students. But if you do not participate at all, you only work your teacher against you in armor. And remember: the teacher is there to help you. Do you have any questions, or do you doubt something, you can use some extra help? Speak it out! Putting your problem out loud is already a good exercise in itself. You will often come up with a solution before someone else presents it. By doubting down, you do not learn a foreign language. Well by not running away for your problems. And, who knows, maybe there is someone else in the class who runs into the same and also takes advantage of the teacher’s answer …
- Always come to class
You know how it goes: you have signed up for a course in Mandarin, Turkish, Spanish or French and are as happy as a child in the beginning. The first few lessons are still going well, but afterwards, yes, the rest of your life takes the course time. You are busy at work, friends come by, you take care of yourself…So that much desired wish to learn a language after a while is very much snowed under. Too many students jump too enthusiastically into the deep, without knowing where they have to start. And although no student thinks it will happen to him or her, most of these students do not end their long-term program. Do not let this happen to you! How can you motivate yourself to always go to class? Here are the best three ideas:
- Remind yourself continuously of the reason for your course. Stick inspiring quotes to the computer or the mirror, talk to friends and family about your motivation or imagine how happy you are when you reach your goal.
- Immerse yourself in the culture of your new language. Eat the local food, watch the movies, read about the country or countries where the language is spoken and follow the news to keep up to date with the latest developments.
- Book a flight to that country. By doing this, you are obliged to actually make that trip. Then you have to learn the language for that time as much as possible!