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The biggest mysteries of mankind. Pyramids in Egypt; was Shakespeare one person or a group of authors, and how to find time for anything as a student. Google can help you with the first two. But it seems like you need to find a solution to the third one on your own.
To some extent, you are right. Time management in college is a skill that you should master. But you are not fighting this battle alone. For instance, you can get some physics help by EssayPro when you feel overwhelmed with homework. And this will give you some extra time for other tasks.
These other tasks can include your language learning routine. Studying new words in a foreign language is a time-consuming process. But once you find the method that works for you, your life will become much easier. So check out the suggestions of professional linguists in this article.
Ways to Memorize New Words in a Foreign Language
When you are at the beginner level, you come across a lot of words that you can find at home. Let us imagine you are studying Spanish. Put a sticker that says nevera on your fridge, mesa on your table, and perro on your dog. This really works! Every time you see each of them, you will also see the expressions you need to remember.
Of course, when you move to the next level of learning the language, you are not going to have every item in your apartment. But you can use flashcards. Let us suppose you study the topic “Architecture” in Polish. Write the words wieżowiec, kościół, and pomnik on one side of the card. And their equivalents on the other.
Whenever you have free time, practice with these cards. You can do this not only at home but also in a line or on a bus. Before long, you will remember that wieżowiec is a skyscraper, kościół is a church, and pomnik is a monument. And that Polish is beautiful.
If you prefer studying with your phone, not pen and paper, there are a lot of options for you, too. Most of the language-learning apps are free of charge. Our favorite one is Duo Lingo. Select the category of expressions you need to memorize, and make your owl happy by achieving the daily goals.
Let us come back to some traditional pen-and-paper methods. The nouns in some languages have articles. They are important for making grammatically correct sentences. Otherwise, you sound like a non-educated person.
German is a good example. You somehow need to remember that the word river is masculine (article der), the word guitar is feminine (die), and the word girl is neuter (das).
What we suggest is making a table with three columns: der, die, das. And writing the words of the corresponding gender into the correct column. When you are trying to remember the article, you are going to visualize the table. Your visual memory will tell you whether this was the left, the middle, or the right column. The article will come automatically.
Learning the language without creating associations for words is a utopia. Find a word in your language that sounds similar to the word in the foreign one. Or choose the word that rhymes with it. It will be much easier for your brain to memorize the expression. It might not be the best tip for oriental languages, though. The words in these languages do not sound similar to anything. So try flashcards or apps.
Playing Board Games
Usually, we study a foreign language in a group. So why not gather your group mates for a party where you play board games in the foreign language? Here are two suggestions for you: Alias and Dixit.
You can choose the level of complexity in Alias. The idea is to explain the expressions that the app gives you to your teammate. If you do not feel very confident, go for the beginner level. If your vocabulary is quite large, choose one of the more complicated levels.
The idea of Dixit is to say your association to the picture you see. It should be neither too obvious (everyone will guess it) nor too complicated (nobody understands you). It is a great way both to practice your vocabulary and to train your brain.
Let us imagine that you are studying the topic “Food” in French. You have a whole bunch of words to remember: plate, meat, waiter, and so on. You create a simple story. “I came to the restaurant. I asked the garçon to bring me a steak. He brought a very big assiette with a very small piece of viande. Lesson learned. Next time I am in France, I will order frog legs”.
Ways to Upgrade Your Level
Using the Platforms for Essay Writing
When you feel that you have achieved an advanced level but still want to polish your knowledge, there you go. Write a small essay in a foreign language and upload it to several essay writing apps (for instance, Hemingway editor and Grammarly). They will show you the aspects to improve.
Hemingway will hint you which words or construction you should replace or omit altogether. The main goal of this app is to make your essay easy to read. It is a great way to learn synonyms and develop your own style.
Grammarly will highlight specific mistakes at the level of vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation. It gives a small comment for you to understand what exactly is wrong with the highlighted word or expression.
Arrange Speaking Clubs
Another great option for both studying and having fun with your friends. Choose a topic that will be interesting for everyone. Perhaps find some related articles. Make sure everyone reads them before you meet. Exchange your ideas and opinions, and correct each other’s grammar mistakes. It sounds like a great team-building activity!
Write Descriptive Essays
You can try this out if you feel that you are super confident in the foreign language because descriptive essays are a kind of art. You should be able to describe the smallest details: colors, sounds, and smells. For instance: You should not only know “red” but also scarlet, crimson, and maroon in a foreign language.
Choosing the Original Book or Movie
If you are learning the language of a certain country, you are likely to be fond of their culture too. So read Korean books or watch the “Squid Game” in the language of the original. If you are a hard-core player, watch it without captions. But in fact, both with or without CC is great. With the subtitles, you also make a mental note of the spelling. Without them, you train your listening skills.
Perhaps, when you started reading the article, you had no idea where to start with optimizing your language learning routine. You may have exactly the same problem after reading it: you do not know where to start! Should I invite my friends for board games or start downloading the apps? Life is long – try and enjoy all of the options in the article.
Ihsan Sharif is a talented writer known for his engaging articles on linguistic topics. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for language, Ihsan brings complex linguistic concepts to life, making them accessible and interesting to a wide audience.