The Catholic University of America

 Language Learning Strategies:

Listening Comprehension:

  • Read aloud, listen to yourself, then copy it down
  • Team up with someone to rehearse listening and speaking exercises
  • Listen to songs and try to write the words
  • Download song lyrics from Internet. Sing!
  • Spend time on local TV's foreign language channel or go to the Multi-media Lab
  • Go to subtitled movies in your foreign language and try to listen for comprehension first, reading afterwards

Learning Words:

  • Use flashcards; smaller cards for individual words, larger cards for families of words and verb conjugations
  • Include a sample sentence to put word in context
  • Use color to differentiate parts of speech
  • Test yourself in both directions – the back's answer and the front's prompt
  • Shuffle the cards occasionally so you don't get dependent on a sequence
  • Separate into "I know" and "Don't know" piles each time you test yourself
  • Use language lab tapes to focus on grammar, verb forms, and pronunciation
  • Label everyday objects in your room with foreign language names on post-it's

Foreign Language Time Management:

  • A foreign language is different from most courses: you need to study every day.
  • DO keep up with classwork! It’s harder to catch up than to keep up
  • DO schedule your time to allow daily study time. The rule is at least two study hours for every hour in class, but language study should be spread out through the week (not just MWF)
  • DO try to divide your study time so that as much as 80% of it is spent in recitation and practice
  • DO try to schedule some of your study hours BEFORE you go into class; As a participation-type class, you need the material fresh in your mind to be used or performed in class.
  • DO schedule language study hours ASAP if they have to be after class in order to minimize forgetting.
  • DO study when you’re most alert, when you feel you can absorb and retain the most material for such a memorization-heavy subject
  • DON’T try to cover the whole assignment in one sitting – break it up into smaller chunks of time
  • DON’T cut class – you will get behind, (possibly irretrievably).