10 Tips for Language Learning Success
8. Maximize your language exposure
If your ultimate goal is language fluency, as it is for many students
learning a language, then it is important to know that you will become
more fluent more quickly if you increase the amount of contact you have
with the language. You can start by simply practicing the language with
a classmate outside of class. You can befriend native speakers in your
community or attend a local foreign language conversation hour, if one
exists. Rent a movie in the target language, or listen to authentic
audio or video online. (Many foreign television and radio stations have
streaming or archived audio and video programs).
9. Spend time on task
Use the time you have in class each week to work on your language skills.
This means not only attending and paying attention in class. If
you finish a partner activity early, use the time to try conversing
with your partner in the target language on a related topic. Or
work on your written homework. Or study the weekly vocabulary.
If you finish a lab activity early, attempt trying some supplemental
activities, work on the week's written homework, or explore some
cultural sites. If you are in your language class, you should
be doing something language-related. Make the most of the time
you have to maximize your learning.
10. Communicate with your instructor
Take responsibility for your learning. Communicate with your instructor any problems that may be interfering with your learning or any specific difficulties that you are having with the material. Seek help immediately when you need it. You might be surprised how easily such difficulties can be resolved. Also, be proactive about making up missed work. Not only your grade, but also your success at learning depend on it.
Additional ResourcesVisit our 15 Language resources page for more tips and hints on learning a foreign language.
If you are looking for more in-depth information about how to go about learning a language, you will find the following books helpful:
How to Learn Any Language, Quickly, Easily, and On Your Own, by Barry M. Farber, 172 p. (1991)The author provides not only some useful tips that apply to learning any foreign language, but even presents a systematic, step-by-step approach to learning a language and being successful at it. This book is especially useful for those language learners who just don't know where or how to begin.