I produced this summary of language learning activities for my students. This is an overview of the approach I’ve developed over many years of language teaching.
In language classes, students are often given tasks to do, but often they don’t know why they are doing this task or how it will help them to learn. I believe students should learn how to learn a language. They should have a predetermined set of actions and techniques to use in all situations. I will go into more detail about them in another blog post.
1) Work with audio and written material that is just above your level, a little bit difficult – but not too difficult!
2) Read and/or listen to the material, at first, try to understand as much as you can. Later make sure you understand everything.
3) Ideally use material that has both an audio and a written version. You could also use a video with subtitles.
4) Always use material that is interesting or useful to you. If it’s not interesting you won’t learn as much.
5) Underline words you don’t know. Try guessing the meaning of new words and phrases. Use a dictionary or ask your tutor to find out the meaning.
6) Read the text aloud for pronunciation practice and to help memorise new words and phrases. Ask your tutor to correct your pronunciation.
7) Underline or highlight words that are difficult to pronounce. Say them aloud. Ask your tutor to correct you.
8) Translate the text into your own language and make sure you understand every word or phrase.
9) Transate the text back into the target language. Try to remember the original words and phrases.
10) Make notes on the text and write a summary of it, or you can give a spoken summary.
11) Make a list of the new words and phrases you have found in the text. Use dictionary definitions or translate them into your own language. Memorise them!
12) Make notes on the text. Draw a ‘mind map’ showing the main points.
13) Listen to the audio without the written text. Understand as much as you can.
14) Using audio software, slow down the audio to make it easier to follow.
15) Play the audio and pause it, repeating words and phrases for pronunciation.
16) With your tutor or partner, use Question and Answer to practice giving the information in the text.
17) Look for interesting grammar points. Be aware of why they were used. Memorise phrases that are good examples of the grammar point.
18) When you have extracted all the new words, phrases and grammar points, move onto another audio and text. After three days, review the text and audio.
To download a printable PDF version of this article, please click on the link.