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Studying for your second language

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Hi guys,

I'm pretty happy with all of my subjects right now, except for my second langage.

I really really really really don't know how to study for it!!

So far I've been making notes of idiomatic expressions.. but apart from that... how do you guys get good marks in Language B?

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Hi guys,

I'm pretty happy with all of my subjects right now, except for my second langage.

I really really really really don't know how to study for it!!

So far I've been making notes of idiomatic expressions.. but apart from that... how do you guys get good marks in Language B?

Idiomatic expressions are a good way to learn - just going over a lot of vocab is good, use quizlet.com to learn vocab.

People who do well in second language have a real grasp on a variety of topics - get student magazines in the second language you're studying and try to read them!

Otherwise, just a solid grammar foundation!

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Read books (if you're not that good at it yet, start with ones meant for kids and/or young teens and work your way up), magazines, and if possible, watch TV and movies and listen to music in that language and try and find websites and message boards that use it. I've found that really useful when trying to learn a language, especially music because it gets stuck in my head and then I learn phrases and stuff without even trying.

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Also practice speaking to people :yes: I found that the most useful. Obviously they have to be able to speak the language well enough to correct you, but if you practice enough you'll find the grammar coming to you naturally (mostly thinking of conjugating tenses here...) and a lot of the syntax mistakes etc. that you tend to make by accident will pop up. You also expand your vocabulary and generally expressing yourself. Best is to practice with either your teacher OR a person who's fluent and is under strict instructions to over-correct you (with the reassurance that you don't offend easily!).

I also second watching TV (especially the news, because you can watch it in English so you have an idea of the topics and then watch it in the other language and an idea of what they're talking about in advance will help you a lot) and what I found great was reading simultaneous translations. Penguin do some of them (as in the publishers) and when I did Spanish I read a collection of short stories in simultaneous translation which were not only great (they were awesome very well written stories) but because it's proper literature you get some true gems of phrases to stick into essays. Something very satisfying about sticking some quotes from Garcia Marquez into your Spanish essays ;) It's like writing something in English and popping in the odd spot of Steinbeck, there are some writers whose phraseology cannot be beaten.

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Funny enough, I asked my teacher the exact thing this morning.

My teacher suggested to read a little bit in your target language a couple times a week, but preferably everyday (like newspapers, teen magazines etc.) and to watch videos or listen to the radio to practise listening to a native speaker speaking. That would naturally build up your vocabulary (which I suggest you record so you can practise - Quizlet is excellent to use for this) and verb conjugations, as well as get you used to the speed of the conversation. (Surprisingly enough, he didn't mention anything about grammar, although this may be because that's my strength in languages. Grammar is still important!)

What language are you taking? I can give you a whole list of websites if you take Spanish.

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This is going to sound really really really stupid (sorry for hijacking the thread temporarily, i'm in the same situation) how does reading a different language actually help other than familiarising yourself with the language.

This sounded better in my head

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By familiarising yourself with the language, you are able to practise recognising tenses and vocabulary (as personally I find that I learn the best when I don't know a word and have to look it up), and able to get a sense of the 'style' of the language; languages are never translated word-for-word, so it really helps.

You also learn new vocab, and by listening or watching in your target language, you are able to understand what is being said more easily at a native speaker's talking speed.

To sum it up, it is 'just' familiarising yourself with it, but it's a huge part of learning languages, and really does make a difference.

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Funny enough, I asked my teacher the exact thing this morning.

My teacher suggested to read a little bit in your target language a couple times a week, but preferably everyday (like newspapers, teen magazines etc.) and to watch videos or listen to the radio to practise listening to a native speaker speaking. That would naturally build up your vocabulary (which I suggest you record so you can practise - Quizlet is excellent to use for this) and verb conjugations, as well as get you used to the speed of the conversation. (Surprisingly enough, he didn't mention anything about grammar, although this may be because that's my strength in languages. Grammar is still important!)

What language are you taking? I can give you a whole list of websites if you take Spanish.

Hey I know this this thread is really old, but could you possibly send me some websites for Spanish? I am dieing here :(

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Funny enough, I asked my teacher the exact thing this morning.

My teacher suggested to read a little bit in your target language a couple times a week, but preferably everyday (like newspapers, teen magazines etc.) and to watch videos or listen to the radio to practise listening to a native speaker speaking. That would naturally build up your vocabulary (which I suggest you record so you can practise - Quizlet is excellent to use for this) and verb conjugations, as well as get you used to the speed of the conversation. (Surprisingly enough, he didn't mention anything about grammar, although this may be because that's my strength in languages. Grammar is still important!)

What language are you taking? I can give you a whole list of websites if you take Spanish.

Hey I know this this thread is really old, but could you possibly send me some websites for Spanish? I am dieing here :(

Sorry, didn't see this for ages. I posted a couple links a while ago, and there are some other useful Spanish links IBS has picked up in the links section:

http://www.ibsurvival.com/links/category/21-spanish/

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