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As teachers and learners we know that different people have different preferences and styles when it comes to studying. Things which work fantastically well with one student might fall completely flat with another. We read much about learning styles and it is true that we learn differently but it is also true that not all learning is necessarily fun and exciting and it is important to take the rough with the smooth. In terms of language in particular, a certain amount has to be repetitive and recycling, revisiting is very important. Regular practice is also important. Some tried and tested methods do work and it is a case of finding the most suitable way of utilising these. Whether pen and paper, iPhone or laptop is our preferred tool is unimportant as long as students get the results!
-Do make sure you have something to record new items of language (notebook, netbook etc)
-Don’t rely solely on your memory.
-Do make sure you have access to a dictionary (get one on your phone then you can access it wherever you are).
-Don’t miss the opportunity to pick up new words and check their meaning.
-Do go over the day’s lesson, make a note of anything you don’t understand ready to ask your teacher at the next lesson.
-Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher to go over things or explain things again – it’s an opportunity to make sure everything is clear before moving on.
-Do watch TV in English if you have the chance. If you are in the UK it’s a good way to engage with the culture and make sure you are immersing yourself in the language – TV is an invaluable language resource.
-Don’t feel that you have to understand everything. Relax and enjoy the experience, if you can get a good overview of the conversation or TV programme that might be enough (then, as in No 6, ask your teacher the next lesson).
-Do write a learner diary – a few lines after each day’s experience will not only give you a lovely record of your course, but it is also an interesting and personal way to make a record of your learning. This can be useful for language recycling and sharing with teachers and/or classmates.
-Do enjoy your learning experience – something you enjoy and are absorbed in will be both successful and valuable. —Rliberni