Being successful in your foreign language class often seems impossible, especially in an introductory course. Learning a new language requires using your brain to accomplish feats you never dreamed of accomplishing, but your brain is an amazing machine that will do almost anything you tell it to do! There’s no quick and easy tip for being successful in your foreign language class, but doing a combination of several things can certainly make acing that class as easy as uno, dos, tres!
Being successful in your foreign language class requires putting in effort outside of the classroom, such as making flashcards. Flashcards have helped me a ton with learning Spanish! I’ve used them to prepare for tests since taking Spanish 1 in Freshman year, and they have never failed me. Flashcards allow you to quiz yourself on noun and verb recognition quickly and easily at any time or place, which means you’ll do wonderfully on any upcoming exams!
Application is a crucial stage in the language learning process. Application means using your second language outside of class in applicable situations. For example, if you’re learning Russian, watch a Russian movie- without subtitles! It’s okay if you pause it every thirty seconds to struggle with understanding it, in fact that’s great! Translation is an important step in learning a language, and in time you’ll be able to understand phrases without first translating them back to English. But for now, applying your knowledge to foreign films one sentence at a time is a great step toward being successful in your class!
Learning is often best reinforced through repetition, especially when you’re learning a new language. So when you make flashcards, review them over and over again. Write out sentences over and over and over until you get that strange grammatical structure down! I can’t express how much repetition will aid you when struggling to be successful in a foreign language class.
Foreign language classes aren’t like other classes where you can get away with zoning out for a few moments each period. Learning a new language requires laser focus every single day. It’s important that you never miss a beat in a foreign language class, because everything is so very different than it is in English, that catching up and teaching yourself simply isn’t probable.
I know I sound like a broken record, but being successful in a foreign language requires efforts made outside of the classroom on your own time. But it doesn’t have to be a total chore! For example, if you’re learning Chinese, spend Saturday in a nearby China Town (which most big cities in the U.S. have) with some classmates. Hearing the language all around you will force your brain to work hard to gain a better understanding of Chinese, and make classwork much easier!
Learning a language takes great determination, driven by a specific purpose. Think about toddlers, they learn how to speak rapidly because they are determined to communicate with the people they love. What is your purpose for learning a language? If you truly want to be successful in a foreign language class, you need to find your purpose and allow it to drive you toward fluency! Or at least toward a passing grade...
I know that most of us think that asking questions is just what the teacher’s pet does, but in a foreign language class, you should ask questions frequently! If there’s anything you don’t understand, or are merely a little bit confused about, raise your hand and get some much-needed clarification!
Teenagers often complain about being forced to learn a foreign language in high school, but you should consider it a great opportunity! In our global community, there are innumerable advantages to being bilingual. That’s why you should try your absolute best to be successful in a foreign language class. How do you succeed in your second language class?
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