[Katie Noble | Entertainment Editor]
One of the most challenging things about learning a language as part of your degree is keeping that flow going throughout the summer months. This is even more important as a beginner as the foreign vocabulary and grammar is not yet solidified into your long term memory. Why spend hours and hours during term-time perfecting that smooth pronunciation just to lose it all over summer? Here’s our top tips for keeping your language skills tip top over the summer break. Anyway, how else are you going to chat up those new exchange students in September?
#1 Go over your previous activities and exercises.
If you’re learning a language from absolute beginner level then you’re likely to have a textbook chock full of useful activities and exercises designed to work each of the language skills: speaking, listening, writing, and reading. You’ve done them before, but go through them again and try to get them all 100% correct without help from outside sources.
#2 Immerse yourself in foreign language media.
The key to successful language learning is immersion. Unfortunately, without moving to the country itself, the closest your going to get to this experience is through foreign language media such as films, books, and music. A simple Google search will find you lots of recs for children’s literature, subtitled films, and other media that is suitable (and super useful) for a language beginner.
#3 Find a pen-pal.
Now, don’t laugh. The phrase ‘pen-pal’ may sound a little retro but the world of pen-palling is a booming goldmine for language learners. You can either find a fellow learner at a similar level, or even better, a native speaker in the language that you are learning. This is a great way of familiarising yourself with how native speakers actually communicate, away from the very standard, formal language that you learn in class.
#4 Visit the country!
Learning a language is a brilliant way to justify a summer holiday… This gives you a chance to relax from studying as well as putting your language skills to the ultimate test. Try to start every conversation in the country’s own language. Locals will find this really refreshing and you can always convert back to English if any problems arise!
If you’ve got any other language learning tips let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @TridentMediaUK!