Me and learning languages - part two

26. august 2018 at 16:37 |  English articles
In the first part we have talked about how to learn a language. Now here is probably the most expected article - about little tips and tricks which really help you to improve all your language skills and maybe move on a next level.

What to do when you don't make any improvements

Everyone has at least once in his life experienced the feeling like his knowladge doesn't make any progress. And it's totally fine, it usually happens at level B2 when you feel like there isn't much new to learn , but you feel lost at C1. It is quite a big jump and probably during few first lessons you just need to do at least double of the work you needed to at lowest levels - if not, maybe you're more advanced than you thought.
I remember myself first time at C1 lesson. After that I was totally exhausted, because I had learned so many new things, and felt like I will never catch up on other's knowladge. I did catch up after few lessons and at the end of the first semester I felt like I was doing ok. What did help me?


First of all I started reviewing all the lesson's work and did every homework - if was given. I was also looking for some extra learning materials and I found out a "learning record" for course's student's book and there were named extra activities - and it is the key to success.
Read
Read magazines, blogs, newspapers, websides, emails, song lyrics, books in English. And read daily. With the internet you can read whatever you like and are interested in, so start reading about all your hobbies in English and you will see the improvement. And once it will be a habit, start reading also things you usually wouldn't be interested in and that's how the C1 vocabulary will get to your memory.
Write
This might be the hardest part. Write. Write informal and formal emails, letters, postcards, blog (as I do :)), diary in English. And that's how the vocabulary learned by reading will get from the passive vocabulary to the active one. It's probably the most important thing to write and I know how hard it can be to convince yourself to do it.
And I would recommend one thing which begin to be my habit and I don't even thing about it - write all your to-do lists, shopping lists, appointments in planner in English. It is an easy way to use English every day.
Listen
Listening is probably one of the most important skill. If you want to use the language, you need to understand. Great practise is to listen to radio like BBC World service which you can listen to without internet connection on a radio all over the world (except some countries), watch your favourite movies and serials in English, find some interesting channels on youtube, listen to podcast or buy an audiobook (audioteka.cz has some classic literature in English for great prices, or audible.com has more books to choose from).
Speak
If you are not lucky enought to use English (or any other language you're currently learning) at work, school or in everyday life, you might find this tips useful.
Talk to yourself. Yes, it might sound and feel ridiculous, but but talking to yourself, even only in mind, will make big difference. Start thinging in English and look for all words you missing often to complete your though. Also don't just look for all words you can't recall, describe them, use synonyms, just keep talking.
Repeat. If you struggle, as I do, to have a good accent, find some video or movie with actors which speak clearly and it sound's good to you. Then repeate each sentece they say. If it doesn't sound good to you, keep repeating until you are satisfied with the result. If you have trouble with just some words, use for example Oxford dictionary and play the recording of pronunciation of that word and repeat it.
And finally, if you live in a bigger city with a lot of turists from forgein countries, help them to find a way to some place when they are lost and start a conversation if possible. Ask them how they like the city so far, have a chat about their country/city they live in/...
 

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