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How To Learn A Foreign Language In Thirteen Lucky Steps

How Students Learn A Foreign Language1. Have a plan to learn a foreign language. This does not mean, "I plan to study foreign language... while updating my MySpace page." Five minutes of good studying daily (and remember, there are seven days in the week) will do more good than five hours once a week if you want to learn a foreign language.

2. There is no need for a number two, because you already know that you need suitable light and comfortable temperature, good health and proper nutrition in order to learn a foreign language or to learn anything else.

3. Have a good attitude if you want to learn a foreign language. If you really believe that "It's so hard, I can't possibly pass, " then you may not pass. If you believe, however, that "It is so easy, I can't possibly fail, " then... I'll let you finish this one.

4. Have a good understanding of English grammar, usage, and vocabulary, and be prepared for knowledge of a foreign language to improve your English vocabulary. When you learn a foreign language, you learn more about your own language.

5. Get started. Your teachers cannot really teach. they can only help you learn a foreign language. A teacher cannot do anything for students that students will not do for themselves.

6. Trust your teachers. Since their job is to help you learn a foreign language, they really are trying to make things as easy as possible for you as you learn a foreign language. Be more concerned about learning the rules than about finding exceptions. If they were not usually true, then they would not be rules.

7. Pronounce carefully, but whatever you do, pronounce. A study-buddy helps you learn a foreign language. (You do know what a study-buddy is, right?)

8. To learn a foreign language, you have to learn vocabulary, the basic material of any language. Decorate your room, your locker, and your car with flash cards. (But look at the cards in your car only when you are parked.)

9. Develop strategies for taking good notes to learn a foreign language, whatever strategy works best for you. Any other notes are not worth taking, no matter how good your notebook may look. As with any notes, your foreign language notes should break down specific tasks. If you do not understand a point, ask your teachers. Make sure that you get the right concepts or words in your notes, because if you study the wrong material, then you will have to unlearn your mistakes.

10. Develop strategies for memorizing, because you are going to have to memorize if you intend to learn a foreign language.

11. Read, write, speak, and listen to your language whenever you can. To learn a foreign language means doing, being, thinking, and feeling that language. Most of all, it means communicating in that language.

12. Don't worry about your teachers' tests. If you conscientiously test yourself every day, then your tests will be harder than anything that the teachers would dare inflict on you as you learn a foreign language.

13. Be in class with textbook, notebook, and pen or pencil every day if you want to learn a foreign language. You cannot really "make up" the experience of using the language in class, however you may use it - speaking, listening, reading, or writing the language.

14. Remember that you have already learned one language. So, how hard can a second one be?

If you are wondering why there is a fourteenth step here, then just remember that this list was not compiled by a math teacher, but by someone who for many years helped his students learn a foreign language.

By Michael Segers - I'm old enough to know better, but too young to admit it. I've been a teacher, owner of a sandwich shop, collector of neckties, acupuncture student. Now I get bossed around by my parrot and rejoice that I d...  

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