Learning a new language is challenging. You have to rewrite how your brain processes the written word and spoken words.
I took Spanish in high school and wanted to try something different in college.
French is definitely different.
Sometimes I’m really starting to catch on. Other times it seems like my professor’s speaking another language.
Oh, wait. He is.
Maybe you’re like me, and this “new language” thing has your head spinning. Well, here I have a couple of fun study tips for when nothing seems to make sense anymore.
1.) Be a First Grader!
You’re in college now. How you write and speak is held to that “college standard.”
Learning another language doesn’t have to be like that. Yes, this is a college course, but you can’t expect yourself to already be on a college level of understanding. So, treat yourself like a first grader. Write short, choppy sentences and make flashcards. The best way to learn without getting discouraged is to set realistic expectations for yourself.
This is key. Reviewing the material over and over will help cement it in your mind. However, just reading it won’t help. When you’re given verses to memorize (in another language), recite them out loud. You’ll get to practice pronunciation and gain confidence in the words you’re saying.
Remember, you aren’t studying for a five-question reading quiz. This is another language. You have to hear and say it. Real life doesn’t have subtitles.
3.) Sticky Notes!
Label things. I have sticky notes everywhere with reminders for other classes. . . what’s a few more with some French words?
Several years ago, I found one of my mom’s high school notebooks with el cuaderno written on the cover. Apparently, that’s Spanish for “the notebook.” She’d started labeling things in her locker to help her study.
Adding labels establishes a connection between the word and object it names. Plus, your roommates can learn, too (even if it’s against their will).
Okay, I know this one sounds really weird. Especially if you don’t know what “Bananagrams” is. It’s a game like Scrabble, but without all the rules.
One night after playing Bananagrams with friends, I started rearranging the tiles into French words and phrases I remembered from class. Somehow, physically spelling out the words helped things “click” in my brain. I think this would be an amazing way to practice spelling and keep things interesting.
And, hey! Maybe you could get a few classmates together to play a game of Bananagrams—foreign words only!
There you have it! A couple of fun ideas for learning a new language! Hopefully, this can motivate you to stick to it, and soon you’ll be a pro.
I’m always on the lookout for some new tips; if you have any suggestions or secrets to share, let me know in the comments!
Au revoir, mes amis!13