Study Tips for Advanced Learners
Learn to Express yourself by Retelling your Adventures
“I learned German by talking to myself,” he said.
“What?!” I could not believe my ears. I had a friend who spoke five languages. Five! Around that time I was struggling with mastering a second, and ordering food/ asking for directions in third. And thought I was doing pretty well…
Most of us have heard stories or know people who speak more than two, three languages. And I am not talking about children of bilingual families, or kids whose parents moved a lot. There are people who actually studied and learned three, sometimes four foreign languages. YES, it is possible.
When speaking to such a person in an informal interview, he shared that he had learnt German by speaking to himself. I was absolutely stunned! I know people who were quite creative in finding speaking opportunities, for example, but talking to yourself… Wasn’t that a bit far- fetched?
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. You were your own foreign language interlocutor, always available. Of course, if you can afford a trip abroad, or conversation lessons, why not. But he had found a work-around. And to be honest, I tried it myself, it felt great, and my speaking skills improved a lot. There is no anxiety when you talk to yourself, no social pressure to perform well. The difficult part came afterwards, when I started sharing it with other people. It turned out that not everyone was as eager as me to take on this great learning tip. Apparently, not everyone was comfortable talking to himself/ herself. If the whole point was to avoid anxiety, then there had to be another solution.
That is how I came up with the Adventure Diary. If you are super shy, and you want to really improve your foreign language speaking before going into the big scary world, but you are also too shy to speak to yourself, this is the activity for you. Just keep a diary of the fun things you do in the language you learn. Try to make it as cool, and fun as possible. Add pictures or drawings, use colorful fonts, etc. It can turn into a great arts and crafts/ language project. It will be entertaining while you do it, as well as when you get back to it after time passes. Just relax, and go for it. You do not have to share it with anyone!
Do it for several months and you will see noticeable improvement in the way you express yourself in the second language. Small but consistent steps everyday will lead to big changes!
The most important part of the Summer Adventure Diary is to have fun, and express yourself without anxiety!
From Our Shop: