Tips for Working on a Second Language

As you may have guessed, English is not my first language but my second. I started learning it in 5th grade in school but I never was any good until I started watching series in English and reading English blogs of course. Although this improved my understanding of the language a lot I find that I still have trouble accurately expressing myself.

In this blog post I’ll be trying to address my three main issues with improving my language skills. Although I’m writing “issues”, they’re not all negatives, just things I’ve learned while learning!

Tips for Getting (more) Fluent

  • Listen, read, write and speak the second language a lot
  • If you do not understand something, don’t look it up immediately – try figuring out the meaning through the context
  • Find a pen pal who is willing to correct you and help you learn
  • Revise what you’ve learned
  • Find the best learning method for you
  • Create a learning and/or revision routine
  • Include learning into your lifestyle – start a blog for example!

What to do about Abysmal Vocabulary

One of my biggest problems with second languages is my abysmal memory for vocabulary and going along with that my abysmal vocabulary. This is why I’m now sharing my tips on improving in that specific compartment:

  • Write it down! Whenever you have to look something up, write it down to increase the chance of remembering it
  • Use newly learned words as often as possible – it’s ultapractical
  • Use a thesaurus
  • Learn a new word everyday – if I remember @julesgin has an app for this particular tip she’ll gladly tell you about!
  • Do cross word puzzles – I found a homepage where you can do them free that also works fine on mobile: It’s called Boatloadpuzzles

Common mistakes to avoid

  • Don’t expect to learn everything in one day. Set yourself realistic goals you can accomplish with your resources.
  • Don’t get angry about mistakes. One of the more important things in learning a language is actually understanding your mistakes and, of course, learning from them.
  • Don’t measure yourself against native speakers – at least not in the beginning. You won’t reach their level for a long time, especially if you just started
  • You cannot study everything. Sometimes you need to take a break or do something fun, try not to get tangled up in learning every rule there is to learn and knowing the exact definition of every new word.
  • It’s not a serious project – make it fun! Switch up your routine once in a while or try watching a comedy series in the language you’re learning.

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