Jewel
Ideas for Practicing/Improving Language

Help! 

I want to practice/work on improving my Spanish and Korean tonight while I have a time, but I'm short on ideas. What are some good ways I can practice while at home? 

Should I write? What should I write about? Should I write using specific vocabulary (to practice those words/phrases)? Should I write using specific grammar (to practice those points)? Should I try translating something? Should I use a writing prompt? Should I create dialogues? Roleplay situations? Write about my life? About a specific topic? All? None?!

Feel free to leave some ideas for writing.

I feel I have writer's block right now, even if I could pick which one to do. So many words and grammar points to practice...etc...

Should I listen? What should I do while listening? Dictate? Write down things I don't know? Repeat after them? What should I listen to/watch at an appropriate level? Should it have subtitles?


I feel so lost! There's too many possibilities and it overwhelms me in all things in life.

Feel free to give me some ideas for what to do or share what you're doing!

I would appreciate it so much~!

Feb 11, 2016 12:51 AM
Comments · 7
1.  Listen to a podcast or a youtube video in your target languange.  2. Look up any words or grammatical structures that you do not understand.  3.  Summarize the podcast/video outloud.  4.  Write down your summary of the podcast/video and post it on Italki for corrections.  There you go - you have just practiced listening, vocabulary, grammar, speaking and writing.
February 11, 2016

Thanks everyone for some ideas.

Anyone else?

I will use 똑똑이 @Tony. I have something similar for Chinese :)

February 17, 2016
2. Another useful practice is what I'd call "informal translation".  Practicing writing is good but I find that writing original stuff drains too much of my energy in deciding and formulating what I want to write, and there is no quick way of knowing what I wrote is good. With translation, I just start writing immediately.  All I need is some decent paragraphs in English, which I can easily find. Anything is good as long as 1) they are mid-level (not too easy or too difficult), and 2) there is a good translation available to check my own translation against. I don't even actually write down my translation but just do it in my head and compare it with the existing translation to quickly check what I'm doing wrong, what better ways there are that I missed, etc.  There are many sites that provide decent writings with translations.  For example, Jehova's Witnesses (jh.org) is one I used, even though I have no interest in what they preach.  It has lots of reasonable, plain language writings (they evolve around a single theme though) with translations in 40 or so languages.  They also have audio readings of the texts which is also very helpful.

These are two things that are helpful in my case.

February 15, 2016
Here are a couple of things I find useful.

1. I believe reading is the basis for everything. Well written texts represent the most beautiful and diverse forms of the language.  Spoken language is a dumbed down version of what a language could be. Even if you're only interested in day to day conversation, practicing the written language helps you tremendously because when your brain gets used to the more elegant forms, the simpler spoken variety become so much easier to handle.

However, reading can be slow, tedious, and frustrating if you have to wade through too many unknown phrases,  Therefore you better have some tools to help you, like a quick pop-up dictionary such as Toktogi (똑똑이) which lets you look up phrases quickly without leaving the page.  Another aid would be a translation of what you're reading, so you can read the two side by side and get a quick understanding of difficult passages if need be.  Using these tools wisely, you can read broadly with minimum of fuss even if your current comprehension level is not that high. Texts which include lots of actions and conversations are especially good as they tend to contain more useful expressions than writings that are too abstract.

(continued)
February 15, 2016

a good way to learn spanish is watching your favourite series in spanish with english subtitles...

I recommend “Narcos” .. there are a lot of spanish expresions, words…. and is a good serie too :)


February 11, 2016
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