Daily Practice Ideas for Studying a Language

How to learn a language: Getting ‘comprehensible input.’ For example, if someone gives you a word like ‘leaf’ that’s fine but if they hold a leaf and tell you the word ‘leaf’ you will get more out of it. If you’re learning from a book or website, you may have to compensate for the lack of a person giving you such comprehensible context for new words, using your imagination and actively teaching yourself. Focus on understanding the message.

The difference between language ‘acquisition’ and ‘learning’. You don’t need to be aware of your knowledge to use language. You can understand the meaning.

Alternate between active learning and relaxation (not looking at a screen, but being normal).

Sometimes watch shows with subtitles, and sometimes watch without.

Don’t think that repeating words out loud will help you learn. You can learn from just listening. To improve pronunciation, record your voice repeating a native speaker and listen to it.

Sustained silent reading (when a person understands the magority of what they read) of books the reader enjoys will surprise people accustomed to the assumptions of Western education in how it’s effects are better than Audio-Visual-Complete lessons or hard text books.

Ideas para la práctica diaria

  • Study a vocabulary lesson
  • Follow Arbol on Facebook or Twitter for advanced palabras del día (and other espanol)
  • Create and work with flashcards
  • Label everything in your home with post-its or stickers
  • Write your shopping lists in Spanish
  • Whenever you need to count something, do it in Spanish
  • Keep a notebook to jot down new words you learn or words you want to look up
  • Look up new terms in a Spanish-only dictionary to see if you can guess the English equivalent before using a bilingual one
  • Write a paragraph featuring 10 new words on Facebook or Twitter
  • Use a dictionary aimed at adolescents

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