Learning a foreign language can start in two ways: through oral speech and through reading. The first way (if you have the ability to choose) is more appropriate for people with good mechanical memory, good hearing and imitation abilities (especially children). The second way might be happier people with a good logical memory, a penchant for logical thinking, analysis and mapping.

But why would not you start to learn still need all kinds of speech activity: speaking, writing, understanding, and transfer. Will try to answer two questions that often ask my adult students: how to learn new words and how to «talk» to cross the barrier stiffness.

To teach the word effectively, we must first learn how to use a dictionary. Restoring to memory the names of the Russian parts of speech, learn these names (and their designations) in the English language and look up words in the dictionary until you determine what is a part of speech in the text. Pay attention to the icons n, v, adj, adv, cap, RG, etc.

Next — three «not»:

  • Not to look the words up in the dictionary «list» without context. Lazy students think that saving this way time: write down all the unfamiliar words from the text, then alphabetically looked them up in the dictionary — and that’s that. From such work as much as from the handing of the «thousands».
  • Not to write out the first meaning; see other meanings phraseological combinations with this word — and choose the right meaning value.
  • No stranger to skimpy, the so-called «miniature» dictionaries. Among them very little good — even if to assess the suitability for beginners. The aim should be to quickly switch to monolingual dictionaries (without abandoning good bilingual). (If only a beginner, forget this advice).

So, the word you have written (or just look in the dictionary). How to keep it in memory? It depends on the properties of your memory and how you use it. Examine yourself, examine the conditions in which words are remembered better by you. Some like cards that you can carry, to pass from pocket to pocket, postpone learned, etc. Others prefer to write the words on large sheets of paper and hang them at home and even at work. This is a very good method, but we must be vigilant about yourself. Words should be to build their own phrase, the leaves have to change, and after some time returning to them to check the remember. If the leaves are just hanging, you will soon begin to look upon them as a Wallpaper (you sure remember the Wallpaper in your room, though a look at them for a few years?).

Get to know the rules of word formation. Then, if one word in the dictionary, you will be able to form (or see the text or speech) a few cognate words. For example, knowing the basic word-building suffixes and prefixes, you can move from the verb to form a moving (adj), moved (adj), unmoved (adj), movingly (adj), move (n) movement (n).

If your goal is to quickly and purposefully to increase your vocabulary — create a family of words on a single topic (housing, food, travel, etc.). Another very good, albeit time-consuming way to come up with a sentence with a new word (or expression), to pronounce it aloud several times, record yourself on tape after a while to listen to myself.

Actually, record yourself (reading the text, tongue twisters, story on a given topic, retelling, etc.) is extremely useful and very revealing. No one better than you knows your strengths and weaknesses — in every way!

Teaching material (textbooks, workbooks, all sorts of exercises) should belong to you. You should write on its pages a translation of a word, to emphasize articles, prepositions, idiomatic expressions, highlight any or especially hard-to-remember combinations. Educational text should breathe, your thoughts, your work. You can always go back to him, and associative memory enables you to remember and much more associated with that word or expression.

As for the perennial question: how to stop being afraid to speak on how to «loosen the tongue» — the answer is simple: the more talk, talk, talk — no matter what. Easier said than done «easy to say,» you say. Of course, giving advice is always easier than doing it yourself. But the other answer to this question I have.

Much depends on the conditions in which learning takes place language, but the main thing is still you. When one already knows some language that raises the perennial dilemma fluency versus accuracy — the need to choose between fluency and accuracy of speech. If the person is not ashamed of his pronunciation, does not think especially on grammar and choice of words — he speaks quite fluently, seeking understanding, using facial expressions, gestures — and makes a great amount of all kinds of errors. It can be terrible to the ear, but on the other hand… no One will be able to communicate with a person who agonizingly long time thinking about what time to use it and what preposition to put before the last noun, even if in the end he will squeeze out a grammatically correct sentence.

How can that be? As with many other things, you should look for a compromise, something between verbal fluency (but not uncontrollably) and correctness (but not so tortured). In our country this problem is particularly often turns into «either — or» because of the lack of real possibilities of foreign language communication and very strict, I’d say the Prosecutor’s attitude to errors. Have an error, scolded and punished. Forgive rare. These traditions are felt in the teaching of foreign languages. Zealous teacher two or three times will stop the student for one phrase, fix, forced to repeat, sometimes, instead of the pupil itself again — what kind of connected speech, especially fluency!

Look for your own path, individual ways to reveal your capabilities, but always try to combine their knowledge of the language with their verbal skills. Good luck and success!