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Language learning tips!

Tips for learning Vocab:

  • Make vocab lists (and post them on Tumblr!) Try to include a variety of phrases, and focus on different topics. Start with what will be the most useful or relevant to you- a couple of my vocab lists are “Everyday Phrases” and “Useful Phrases for Travelling”. Then expand into lists for politics, discussing your interests, vocab lists useful for reading certain kinds of books (like historical fiction)… Whatever you do in your native language, make a list in your target language!
  • Read information in your target language likely to use the language you just learned. If you’re learning about the rooms in a house, try looking at house or apartment listings for sale in a country where your target language is common. If you’re learning about colours, try looking at fashion sites from that country! 
  • Use the words you just learned as often as possible. Try making daily lists of words you learned that day, with a weekly review. Alternatively, use those words in a journal entry or tumblr post. 
  • Draw something next to the word to represent the word or its use.   (Note: don’t use this one if you have limited time, i.e. the day before your exams.)
  • Flashcards are useful- make sure you note the gender of the word and if it’s irregular or not!

Tips for learning Grammar:

  • Flashcards are useful for memorising non-complex grammar rules and exceptions. (Things like “i before e, except after c” and “aller is irregular in the present tense”). 
  • You can also use flashcards for learning the difference between words- for example, there are six words/phrases for “to need” in Danish, each with a slightly different meaning. In this situation, flashcards can be especially useful.
  • Practice. If you can’t remember the ending of an -ir verb in the simple past, for example, practice it! Construct lots of basic (and then more complex) sentences with -ir verbs in the simple past. I also find just conjugating verbs without the full sentence can be helpful (”je mange, tu manges,” etc.) 
  • Spend time making sure you really understand a grammar rule before moving on. Try creating three different sentences (with different pronouns and verbs) to check if you can put it into practice. If not, revise what you just learned, try phrasing it a different way, and look at other people’s examples on the internet.