Tips for learning a language : Part3


This is a continuation from Part 2.

Key points 

1. Have a clear goal
2. Start your own language study notebook
3. Study in a small fraction, with frequency
4. Learn to speak correct prounciations
5. Grammar is important
6. Study vocabulary & phrases by spaced repetition
7. Pick a book and FINISH IT!
8. (Optional) Keep a diary in the language

5. Grammar is important

When I first started studying English years ago, I heard from some people that I didn’t need to study English grammar. Was told that I could just memorize phrases and recite them but I strongly disagree. You need to study grammar. Grammar serves as a foundation of your language learning. Having adequate grammar knowledge can speed up your learning progress and I know that from exprience. So don’t skip on grammar study. You’ll be glad that you studied it.

 

6. Study vocabulary & phrases by spaced repetition

Search for the most basic elementary words to study, write them down on your notebook and study them. The more words and phrases you know the more fluent you’ll become.
Let’s assume you have 100 words to study. First divide them into several digestible lists, start with one list. Memorize the words by reading them outloud and writing them down on paper repeatedly. Also, you need to study a sentence or two per word. Knowing the definition without knowing proper usage of a word is useless. At night before you go to sleep, try writing a short journal using the words that you have studied that day. After you finish a list, go back to it a few days later. When I study Japanese vocabulary, I do this:
I study list A, the next day, list B, then on the third day, list A and B. Also I repeat vocabulary study at 1-week intervals.

 

7. Pick a book and FINISH IT!

Here are my tips for selecting Korean text book.

1) The book has to have Hangul (Korean alphabet) not just rominizations of Korean words. It seems obvious but while choosing a Japanese learning book for myself, I noticed that some books don’t have any Japanese hiragana, katakana or kanji at all. Then how can you truly learn the language without knowing the characters?

2) Pick a thin book that you can finish it within a few months. Ideally within a month. Finishing a thick textbook is a daunting task. Also there’s way too much information to digest. Finishing a book can be a great motivation for you too. You’ll also feel great about yourself for the accomplishment. After you are done with a thin book, you can go out and pick a more challenging book as your next goal.

3) This is what I do:
A week or two after I start studying the second book, I go back to the first book that I finished and review. You’ll be surprised how fast you can finish the first book at the second try. Also, there’s repeated informaiton between the two books, so the review progress is sped up. That’s what I did while studying Japanese.

 

8. (Optional) Keep a diary in the language

Lastly, keeping a journal in the language your’e learning is helpful. You’ll be forced to think about word usage and expressions. Try writing a short paragraph without spending too much time. It’ll be grammatically incorrect but that’s OK. Just keep writing. A few months later compare your writings and you’ll see how much you have improved.

 

Hope my study tips can help you learn the language you’re studying. Mastering a foreign language is not an easy task but it’s totally worth it. Knowing another language can broaden your world as well as improve your future job choices. Good luck!

– Maya

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