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Foreign language 411

 
 
If 4th-period Spanish class has ya heading for the hills or German is becoming too much to handle, toss aside your textbook and take a look at our top tips for acing your next foreign language test.

 

Start a study group

Some language concepts come more easily to some people than to others. Getting together with your peers to study a difficult conjugation or quiz each other on new vocab can be helpful. Sometimes another student’s explanation for an idea can flip the switch that your teacher or your textbook never did. Try coming up with memory devices as a group that will help you remember certain concepts. Songs, stories and sayings will stick with you, so give them a try.

 

Boost your grammar

A lot of students struggle in foreign languages because they don’t know how to express their thoughts. If your class is stuck learning about farm animals and the present tense, try studying up on your own so you can talk about how you watched a chick hatch over spring break. Quizzing yourself with flash cards and jotting down verb conjugations can help you recall your newfound knowledge.

 

Try a tutor

Having trouble understanding your teacher? No worries, babe. Your predicament isn’t at all unusual. Ask the head of your school’s foreign language department for suggestions and check out bulletin boards in and around your school. If you connected with a teacher you had a few years ago, get back in touch and see if she’d be willing to help you out.

 

Log on

There are a bunch of fantastic resources online that will give you the help and practice you need for free. Ask your teacher for recommendations or do a google search. For fun, test your knowledge with language games here.

 

Get chatty

We know, oral reports totally stink, but for most language-learners, they’re unavoidable. To get comfy speaking in front of your class, try grabbing a friend or two and spend maybe 10 minutes a day chattering in your language of choice. Talk on IM, on the phone, in person, whatever works. You’ll feel fab in no time!

 

Bonne chance, babe!

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 3/24/2011 7:00:00 AM

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