How To Learn A
Part Two: Practice Makes Perfect
language students find it difficult to listen effectively. There is
something about the art of listening that fills us with apprehension.
How fast will they be talking? Will I get a chance to hear it again?
Will I know all the vocabulary? As a result we feel under stress before
we even start to listen.
listeners are those who have the ability to concentrate on what is
being said and react appropriately to it. We can all do this; it’s just
that some of us need more practice than others. Good listening
techniques have to be worked at, and the purpose of this chapter is to
teach you how to listen effectively whatever the situation.
look at the different types of listening you will come across when
learning a language, and show you how to improve your listening skills.
Ways of practising your listening and improving your overall
performance are described in detail.
anyone which skill they admire most in someone who has learnt a foreign
language and they will usually give the same answer: speaking. There is
something about a person’s ability to speak fluently in another
language that never fails to impress us. It may be their confidence,
their skill at speaking without apparent thought or effort, their
accent, their speed of delivery.
may feel that our speaking skills are the only ones that really count,
and that people will judge our linguistic ability on this factor alone.
Obviously things are not quite as simple as this. To be a complete
linguist you not only require good speaking skills, but also good
listening, reading and writing skills.
chapter will help you to speak more effectively in the foreign
language, whatever your level of confidence or ability. The various
forms of speaking tasks you will encounter as a language learner are
listed. You are then taught a range of strategies for dealing with
them. The chapter concludes with advice on how speaking skills can be
actively developed and practised.
in the foreign language always gets mixed reviews from students. Some
enjoy it and find it easy; when you ask them why, they explain that the
written word is there, printed in front of them, ready for them to
read, re-read and ponder over. Others are terrified when they see a big
chunk of text; they think to themselves, I’ll never be able to read this
and they panic. They cannot cope with masses of words because they lack
the confidence to be able to break them down and analyze their meaning.
may be a confident, adventurous reader, or an unwilling and faltering
one; many of us are somewhere in the middle. This chapter will give you
some useful guidance about how to read effectively in the foreign
language, whatever your level of ability. We start by describing the
wide range of text types and reading comprehension exercises tackled by
language students. Effective reading techniques are then presented in
detail, and suggestions are given for improving and consolidating your
kind of writer are you? You may have plenty of ideas when writing
creatively in the foreign language; you write quickly but carelessly,
and your work contains frequent errors. Alternatively you may lack
imagination and limit your writing to what you know to be correct; you
never take risks and your work is dull, but with almost no mistakes. Or
you might find writing a pain rather than a pleasure; you have little
to say, and find difficulty in saying it.
Whatever type of student you are, you
will find that the advice given in this chapter will help you to write
more creatively, while maintaining a high standard of linguistic
accuracy. We start by looking at some of the different types of writing
you may be expected to produce. This is followed by a step by step
guide to effective writing that covers drafting, reviewing and checking
techniques, as well as advice on how best you can practise these skills.