Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Language Learning Strategies.

As I am currently taking up Korean at ICLS (a language school in Malaysia), many of these strategies will come useful as crunch-time heads on in the next three weeks with my language assessment in two weeks from now!

Many of these ideas were posted on FLTEACH. The original list is from the Spanish Department at the University of Kansas.• Make flashcards.
• Repeat aloud.
• Don't be afraid to make mistakes.
• Speak to others in French (Spanish/German.)
• Watch French (Spanish/German) television programs on cable TV.
• Praise yourself for your efforts.
• Listen to lab tapes.
• Don't wait for the teacher to evaluate your progress.
• Go to a French (Spanish/German) restaurant and order in the target language.
• Eavesdrop on people speaking French (Spanish/German.)
• Don't make excuses.
• Name objects in French (Spanish/German.)
• Relax before going to class and before studying.
• Don't worry about your age or aptitude.
• Talk to yourself in French (Spanish/German.)
• Try not to translate from French (Spanish/German) to English in your head.
• Practice speaking French (Spanish/German) with friends.
• Form a study group with classmates.
• Review class notes.
• Reward your successes.
• Guess when in doubt.
• Re-write class notes.
• Record new vocabulary and grammar in a notebook.
• Make review cards grouping verbs, nouns, etc.
• Don't pretend to understand when you really don't.
• Paraphrase when necessary.
• Listen to French (Spanish/German) radio.
• Rent French (Spanish/German) videos and watch them.
• Stay alert; don't "zone out" in class.
• Hang in there; be persistent.
• Read ahead in the book.
• Use mime and gestures.
• Write down words that you don't know, then find out what they mean.
• Keep a language diary.
• Keep your expectations realistic.
• Practice daily.
• Make corrections in class when reviewing homework.
• Memorize using images, sounds, rhymes (mnemonic devices.)
• Attend class.
• Teach someone what you have learned.
• Be assertive in class.
• Participate in group activities in class.
• Use cognates for association with English.
• Have a positive attitude towards class and the language.
• Read French (Spanish/German) newspapers on the Internet.
• Use what you learn.
• Make study sheets.
• Do homework.
• Review the day's lesson after class.
• Try not to use the dictionary too much.
• Ask for help when you need it.

Additional resources
• Tips on Studying
• Learning Style and Foreign Language Learning
• Concepts of Foreign Languages

 Copyright © 1999, 2000 Beverly Larson. All rights reserved.

NCLRC ORG. Extracts are taken from:

1. Using minimal responses
Language learners who lack confidence in their ability to participate successfully in oral interaction often listen in silence while others do the talking. One way to encourage such learners to begin to participate is to help them build up a stock of minimal responses that they can use in different types of exchanges. Such responses can be especially useful for beginners.

Minimal responses are predictable, often idiomatic phrases that conversation participants use to indicate understanding, agreement, doubt, and other responses to what another speaker is saying. Having a stock of such responses enables a learner to focus on what the other participant is saying, without having to simultaneously plan a response.

2. Recognizing scripts
Some communication situations are associated with a predictable set of spoken exchanges -- a script. Greetings, apologies, compliments, invitations, and other functions that are influenced by social and cultural norms often follow patterns or scripts. So do the transactional exchanges involved in activities such as obtaining information and making a purchase. In these scripts, the relationship between a speaker's turn and the one that follows it can often be anticipated.

Instructors can help students develop speaking ability by making them aware of the scripts for different situations so that they can predict what they will hear and what they will need to say in response. Through interactive activities, instructors can give students practice in managing and varying the language that different scripts contain.

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