We had a student from Austria who just blew us away! 15 year old Bernadette had special advanced classes with Stephen and Victoria. Her level of English is amazing. It was great to have her here, and we hope to see her again really soon! She wrote a piece for us called “How to be a successful language learner”. There are lots of good tips. Read on.
How to be a successful language learner
“Tell me and I‘ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I‘ll understand.” This Chinese proverb captures in its own simple way the actual nature of learning. Still, it is our own motivation that guides us to success. We have to look below the surface and experience language in all its complexity to reveal its entire beauty.
Build up an emotional connection
This is best achieved by building up an emotional connection to the language we are determined to learn, by reading books and watching films considered as appropriate and appealing to the individual learner (Otherwise their impact on language skills would be minimal or non-existent). Yet, learners should not look at it as studying. Get inspired by the film/book! Let it occupy your mind. Your progress might be nearly imperceptible to yourself, yet obvious to everyone around you.
English films and literature affect your language skills
The reward for your effort will be a wide range of vocabulary, collocations, idioms and different sentence structures required for later examinations as well as for the further use of the English language. Moreover, splendid films with adorable high-level English might even reflect in the student’s pronunciation.
Furthermore, as for speaking capacities, an ambitious student can best fulfil his/her potential when integrating oral exercises in his/her daily life. Seize every single opportunity for practising!
How can I expand my vocabulary?
However, there is one question familiar to every language learner: “How can I expand my vocabulary? “ The teachers at the Communicate School of Manchester suggested a method that proved to be of high efficiency: Try to use new words whenever possible, so that they become a part of you. Yet, drawing on my personal experience I would recommend focusing on not more than ten words at once. Additionally, you should write vocabulary lists with words sorted according to topic along with a model sentence illustrating their correct use.
Bear in mind
And above all: Be not hesitant in using English just because you fear you might make mistakes. Remember that hindsight is always twenty-twenty, and move on. There is no need to be ashamed of mistakes as they are the best way to improve.
2 August, 2016; Bernadette Schimpf