As a language school, we are often asked by students what techniques can help you learn a language?
We recently surveyed some of our language students to learn more about the methods they use, and thought we’d share this so other language learners can benefit. All the approaches that our students are using are likely to be of interest to other language learners – our advice is to try several language-learning techniques as some will suit you but others may not. You’ll find out which ones work well, and if you gain one new idea from this blog, then our job here is well done!
The key technique our students at la Academia used to help learn a language was to “try to think in the language during classes” (44%). Academics studying language acquisition do strongly recommend this method, so if it’s not something you are using currently, give it a go. Remember, no-one will know what you are thinking, so there is no embarrassment factor with this technique!
Another popular technique used by our students is to “review the lessons and work at home” (31%). This is vital to ensure that as much as possible of the lesson is retained – a review the day after or 2 days after the lesson, and another review a day or 2 days before the next is highly recommended to consolidate your learning. If you review the lesson in between times and have questions arising on points that are unclear it provides an excellent opportunity to be sure that you get any misconceptions corrected by your language teacher in the next class.
Using a dictionary is another method our students use. Again, if there are any doubts on a word you have found ask the teacher as soon as you can, so you are learning the correct language usage.
Finally, a small number of students (6%) tried a very interesting technique, using “a different name and personality when speaking the language”. This is another method that has been found by language researchers to be effective in setting the language centres of the brain to the target language. This technique may strike some students as strange or embarrassing, but we would definitely recommend it as it changes the atmosphere in a class – you are no longer in Cheadle, but in Paris, Tokyo, or anywhere in the world you want to be!
If you’d like to study a language at a language school that allows you to relax and try new techniques like this with supportive and helpful classmates, then la Academia is for you! Contact us on 0161 491 1444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.