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.
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
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.