Planning And Setting Clear Goals.

Each of us foreign language learners need to decide the overall goals for foreign language study. This will help to develop a clear direction and will also provide with some benchmarks to measure the progress, performance and finally outcome. For the same reason this is helpful to set clear goals for daily and weekly study. A foreign language learner has to follow the goals set for himself or herself. Any foreign language is learned in small bits, so a foreign language learner has to establish a regular schedule for studying and follow it. A foreign language learner achieves little by occasional studying. Learning a foreign language can be compared to rowing a boat. As long as we row, we move forward. When we stop rowing the current will take the boat back faster than we could imagine. After all, we didn’t learn the native language all at once. In fact, it took us quite a while to master all its intricacies. Speaking from my experience studying has to be done every day. Exercises do little good if they don’t have time to sink in. Finally, it is important to find the best time of the day to do studying. For one group of foreign language learners the most productive time to study maybe in the morning, and for another group of foreign language learners the most productive time to study maybe in the evening. It shouldn’t be done when there are many other things on the mind, or when a foreign language learner is exhausted. The mind has to be receptive for learning to take place. It is important to set up a schedule to learn something new every day. For example, how to give a gist of a news broadcast and a summary of a long article from a magazine/internet or a book. This is particularly true of vocabulary: a foreign language learner needs to build up vocabulary on his or her own, and also idiomatic expressions. As a foreign language learner proceeds in learning, he or she should notice successes, and especially what have been done to achieve them. For example, when learning the new vocabulary pronouncing words out loud helps to remember them better than reading them silently. A foreign language learner has to determine which exercises seem to help the most and for which kind of tasks. Also, I would suggest experimenting to see if some tasks are better accomplished by seeing, while other tasks are better accomplished listening, and a foreign language learner shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes. Applying the same strategy to all tasks will not work. If a foreign language learner tends to rely too much on the eyes as many adults do, may be doing oneself a disservice trying to do all tasks through visual modality, because so much of a foreign language requires the learners to use their hearing. I mean consciously working on strengthening listening comprehension skill. Proceeding with the learning, a foreign language learner should be on the lookout for what works, and what doesn’t work. Once a foreign language learner identified the strategies that work, he or she should continue to use them, and at the same time should be on lookout for strategies that aren’t effective. Not a bad idea to work with a partner. After all it takes two to talk.

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