Ways to practise your languages

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  • 1. Ways to Practice your Languages Alone With Others Reading Internet Magazines and Newspapers Books Active reading…use what you have read (eg note down interesting grammar/vocab in context) Find tasks with exercises Find subjects that interest you (eg history, linguistics, education, cooking) Pre-read…think about some words that might appear in the text Both read the same article and prepare questions for the other person about it Writing DO IT! Post-read/watch…write a short summary of something you have just read/heard or your opinions on it Keep a writing diary…write a couple of sentences each day, and once a week turn some of them into a short piece of writing…and get it checked! Practice linking words/phrases Try something new…eg describe a graph/table Write descriptions…people, places, experiences One person dictates, the others write Both write an answer to the same question, then swap and check other persons…see what ideas they have Write a story in a group…write one sentence then pass it on, and see what you have in the end Describe pictures, then compare your descriptions Listening Get lyrics for songs you enjoy Active listening (see reading above) Listen to internet radio/news Eg www.bbc.co.uk If you hear someone talking the language, speak to them… and, obviously, listen! Watch TV…actively Listen to talking books, and read along with what they say if possible One person reads, the other summarizes what they have just heard Have a debate Speaking/ Pronunciation Record what you are saying, then listen to it for mistakes Talk to yourself…it’s not crazy and you shouldn’t be embarrassed if you’re the only one listening! www.howjsay.com Talk to others in your foreign language (not your own!) Describe pictures or ask/answer questions about them Solve some puzzles together What would you use/take/do in a certain situation? Put people/things in order of eg usefulness, then justify your
  • 2. Ways to Practice your Languages opinions Read aloud Have a debate Spell words and get others to write them down (or random lists of letters) Vocabulary Make mind maps of topics that appear often (eg family, environment, politics) or starting with a completely random word Put words in groups…by prefix/suffix, by phrasal verb particle Look around a room and name all of the objects Describe people you have seen Find vocab exercises eg cloze, word transformation, sentence transformation Learn words in families eg noun, verb, adjective, synonyms, antonyms Choose a type of phrase eg opinions, and write as many of them as you can Make a mind map, then pass it round the group for each person to add to – everyone will add something different Have a competition to write vocab lists eg How many parts of the body can you name in 5 minutes? List vocab you think of from a picture/text/headline Translation…if possible with someone who speaks the other language Read a list of words/numbers to others for them to write down, then check if they got them right Scattegories/Tutti Frutti Charades Hangman Pictionary Grammar Internet exercises eg http://www.englisch- hilfen.de/en/exercises_list/alle _grammar.htm Grammar/text books Summarize key grammar points in your own words Check you know when/why each tense is used Write out verbs without looking at a list (If not in English, always include genders with new words!) Learn verbs with their prepositions Put posters on your walls with difficult grammar points (only 1 or 2 at a time though!) Teach!