How to study a Foreign Language

Help for Foreign Language Students
Cheryl Asay, College Freshman
Sierra College, Rocklin, California

For those students attempting to learn a foreign language, the "How to Study a Foreign Language" site is a very helpful resource. Though brief, this site contains valuable hints for the student new to (or struggling with) foreign language learning. The "Listening and Pronunciation'"section advises us to improve our pronunciation by listening to native speakers, records, tapes, or movies. As someone who has lived in another country, I can attest to the importance of saturating the mind with listening experiences. Regular exposure to native speakers allows the sounds, rhythms, and natural cadences of the language to register in mind of the listener. This growing familiarity enhances the learner's ability to listen for meaning.

The "Reading" section gives a strategy for reading a passage in a foreign language. Though it may seem unnecessarily time consuming, this strategy actually helps the learner to do more than just understand the passage; the learner is trained to actually begin thinking in the language. And though it is just a beginning, learning to think in the language promotes enthusiasm. And enthusiasm promotes motivation. And motivation helps us tackle the task at hand. Learning a foreign language can seem like a daunting ask for the novice, but putting into practice the ideas in this concisely written resource can help.

How to study a Foreign Language
Aleisha` Allen
Austin Commuinty Collge, Texas

Learning a whole new language while still working on the old one is very hard to do. This article was very informative. It's something that is definitely one to hold on to. Hearing, pronuncing and reading is a very important part to learning a new language and this article touches on all of those areas.

Janete Olague, College Freshman
Austin Community College, RRHEC

This article on how to study a foreign language is so helpful. It gives the reader some helpful tips on how the learn a new language.

First , listening and pronunciation is a big part of learning the language in order to become familiar with the language. Second, speaking the language not with speed but with accuracy. Third, reading and understanding the gramatical terms used the that particular language. Fourth, vocabulary is a key part in learning the language. In order to learn new words it is recommended that you do flash card, the term in one side and the meaning on the other side. Finally, writing by studying all textbook and material before you start writing. Also make sure you put attention to the grammar and structure of the sentences.

How to study a Foreign Language: Review
Jessica Kellum
Austin Community College, Cedar Park, Texas

The How to study a Foreign Language article didn't help me as much as I thought it would. Of course it was to the point and very accurate in it's methods but I was looking more for the detailed study helps. This article had some great tips but it was a little lacking.

Foreign language
Wendy Aydee
Sierra College, Rocklin, CA.

Learning a foreign language requires effort and study hard. The basis to learn a foreign language is divide in four parts: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

1.Reading: it is a good idea to read books, magaziines, newspaper,because by reading you can learn new vocabulary, and check the spelling. 2. Writing: Study grammar, pay attention to verbs, sentence structure and word choice. 3-4Listening and Speaking: listen the radio,watch TV, pay attention how to native people pronounce the words and repeat them to yourself until you feel that you pronounce correctly.

My Foreign Language Review....
Christopher Wuehler
Sierra College, Rocklin, CA

I think that the "reading" and the "practice" aspects (with someone who knows the language), are the most important parts to learning a foreign language. One of the things I would like to add to the list that I personally find helpful, is watching a video on the subject. DVD's from the Library about that particular language is/was very helpful for me in learning Deaf Studies. It gives the student something to visually see while not at class, and can also be a good reference when you're stuck on something.

As for practicing, I believe that this is the single most important part of learning any new language. Until you actually take the time to practice by yourself (or with others), you will never succeed at learning the language.

The only other thing I would add to the resource, is that Teachers are usually happy to help you with anything you're stumped with, and sometimes this is an unavoidable circumstance where you have to do this to finally "get it".

Other than that, I think that this is a pretty helpful and straightforward resource that would help most anybody learn any foreign language.

Talking the Talk

Tips on learning a foreign language was very helpful. It wasn't just learning how to speak it, but learning how to pronounce and write, too.

Great tips for learning a foreign language
Anna Zhu, College Sophomore
Sierra College, Rocklin, CA

After reading "How to Study a Foreign Language\", I was very impressed with the content, because it encompassed a good deal of what is essential to learning a foreign language. Learning a new language is different from learning a new subject; there are new grammar rules, new vocabulary, and new sounds to make. I have taken French for three years in high school and two semesters in college - a strong, solid foundation of grammatical and structural knowledge is key!

When I tutor French or Italian, I always try to have the students read aloud as they read or write. Not only does this help them to get a feel for sentence flow, but it also commits repeated sounds to memory. For example, in French: "Nous avons" means we have and "Nous mangeons" means we eat. Although in text, the two phrases look different, one will be able to hear the common "on" sound correlating to the "nous" pronoun. It really is all about practice and application! I would also like to suggest that the factor of students' learning styles be taken into consideration. It's that much easier for a student to learn if the method of learning is tailored to how s/he learns best.

It is important to feel the language!
Dimitri Eiramjani, College Junior
Sierra College, Rocklin, CA

First of all, it’s important to speak foreign language as much as possible. We should encourage tutees to speak and to read aloud. When speaking, we shouldn’t be concerned on speed of speech; much more important is accuracy of speech. I know from my own experience: it’s better to correct mispronouncing as soon as possible.

While reading, focus on meaning of whole sentence and understand a structure of English sentences. The structures of sentences in different languages are so distinct that translating sentence word by word often doesn’t work.

Always read passages without translation first time, in order to get feel of language. I know from my experience how important is to feel the language. Because sometimes I can’t even explain why I write sentence one way or another, I just feel which way is correct.

It’s good idea to put all unknown words and phrases on flashcards and go through them daily; while learning new words, use them in sentence of your own.

Great tips for Foreign Languages
Cameron Little
Sierra College, Grass Valley, CA

I'm currently taking Spanish 4, and I can say from experience that many of these techniques are incredibly useful and borderline necessary when learning a foreign language.

For instance, be careful to remember word meanings while practicing pronunciation might seem like common sense, but it's actually easy to forget! Also, I cannot stress how helpful speaking aloud and speaking with friends can be. If you can carry on a conversation with another classmate, even if it's a simple topic, it can do wonders for your confidence and memorization.

I hadn't even considered some of the other techniques mentioned in this article, such as making sure that you know your English grammar terms. This is something I never bothered mastering, and it made Spanish more difficult for me when I look back in retrospect. Also, the idea of recording yourself speaking aloud and then playing it back is genius. It can be hard to hear yourself and your pronunciation when you're too busy trying to remember all your words and how to put them together. By recording, you could play it back as many times as you needed to and recognize the words that you need more practice on. Thanks for providing these great tips!


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