articles | 08 August 2018 | Cosmopolis Language Centre

Practising Your Language Skills Over Summer

It is a fact that when trying to learn a new language the old adage ‘use it or lose it’ holds true.  It is also true, that over the summer holidays most of us seek comfort in the language(s) we feel most at home, and we seldom ever try to practise the language(s) we were learning prior to the holidays.  Since the summer holiday is a long break for most language-learners, this can have a detrimental effect in our endeavours to put another language under our belt.  Not necessarily, though; especially if you live in a country or in proximity to where the language at hand is spoken.

​Here are some suggestions for practising your language skills over summer:

  • Be brave and chat to your grocer, shop assistant, taxi driver.  Spot native speakers of the language you are learning (this is especially effective when they do not speak your language), and chat to them whenever you get the opportunity;
  • Grab the newspaper and read the sports, the horoscope, the weather, or whatever else pleases your fancy and is within your level;
  • Watch a movie, a video, or even the news and get reacquainted with the articulation, pronunciation, and syntax of the language you are learning;
  • Grab a book and read a page every day, looking up unknown words as you do so.
  • Read out loud as much as possible, particularly if you find the language you are learning difficult to pronounce;
  • Hook up with former classmates, and try to practise together, speaking about your summer so far, daily tasks, a movie you have seen, etc.;
  • When you are in the car, turn on the radio and listen to music in the language you are learning;
  • If you have native speakers in your family, set a place or time when you only speak the language you are learning with them;
  • And, if you are really motivated, grab your textbook and read a few of the dialogues you had previously done in class, and try to remember old vocabulary, grammar, and key phrases.
​These are simply some suggestions; they are not a rulebook.  However, it is incontrovertible that doing some of the above would make your comeback into class a lot smoother.  It could also make your summer more fun, especially if you love what you are doing.

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