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Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

Succeeding in learning a foreign language demands a lot of self-discipline and confidence. Here is a list of positive actions to take to make your learning experience more rewarding and enjoyable.

Studying at the Foreign Language Instructional Center
To help you create a routine around your new language, we strongly recommend you make regular appointments with a tutor in the FLIC. By having routine appointments, you will keep up with the coursework and solve any problems or questions you may have. Be ready for each appointment with your tutor. Do your homework prior to your appointment and keep a list of questions that occur so that the tutor can help you understand grammar concepts.

Try to meet with the same tutor each time you visit the FLIC in order to build a strong tutor-student relationship that enhances the learning experience. This will allow the tutor to get to know your language strengths, the concepts on which you need to improve, and the grammar skills you need to practice. If you do not feel comfortable working in a one-on-one tutoring session, group tutoring is available. Bring a fellow classmate to your appointment, because group study can be very useful and productive. It is a great way to test your knowledge before a test and to practice conversation skills.

Preparing for Foreign Language Exams
Preparing for foreign language exams should be a continuous process. You need to study each day instead of waiting until the night before your test, which can make the studying process overwhelming. Learning a language demands patience and perseverance. Daily repetition, through reading, listening, and writing, will help you to memorize new words, verbs, rules, and exceptions. Developing new vocabulary skills are required and the most successful way of memorizing is in small increments. Write your vocabulary words and verbs on paper as many times as you need to memorize the necessary material. As you write words down, orally pronounce them. Read your vocabulary list as often as you can. Make regular appointments with a tutor to revise the material before the test. Review the grammar rules as well as the verbs and vocabulary. Ask your tutor to test you on different skills you need for your test.

Taking a Foreign Language Exam
When taking a foreign language exam, complete all the questions that you know first. Do not start the exam by spending 15 minutes on the first difficult question you reach. Relax and go on to the next question. After you have reviewed each question, come back to the questions you left blank. At this point, you may be more confident and will probably be able to answer the question properly. When completing a reading comprehension question, read the full text once. Then come back to the beginning and underline all the words you know. Read the text again focusing on the underlined words. The text will then slowly start making more sense. When you completing an exam featuring writing composition, keep sentences simple and concise while avoid those that are long and complex.

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