Get better faster with this key advice
1. Use a notebook specifically for your language course
Organise the content by grammar, vocabulary and expressions. Try and write down chunks of language that you can use – and identify the context, rather than just individual words. Review what you’ve added on your way home whilst on the bus, tube or train.
2. Go to every class
If you can’t attend a class, ask your teacher to send you information on the class content by e-mail, including the homework. Make sure you at least take a look, rather than letting it sit in your inbox unopened.
3. Speak to your teacher if you don’t understand something
Once you get lost it’s easy to mentally ‘give up’. Teachers are nice people and they enjoy their jobs – they will be happy to clarify any doubts you may have, either during the class or after.
4. Do as much as you can in the foreign language
Watching an episode of Game of Thrones? Watch it in the foreign language and/or add the subtitles. Like to read a gossip magazine? Pick up a few when you’re next in the country where the language you are learning is spoken, or order some online. Whatever you do in English, try and do it in the foreign language instead. Listen to music, read a book, whatever it is, by exposing yourself to the foreing language in this way you will not only improve your language skills but you will also get to know and understand the culture of the language.
5. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re not very good
Everyone feels like this at some point or another. Learning a language takes time – which is why you’ve taken up the challenge in the first place. You will get better and when you get some answers right in class you can give yourself a big pat on the back.
6. Speak as much as possible in class
Your teacher can correct your pronunciation and any mistakes you make and this is the best time to try out new language or new expressions you have learnt. The classroom can be seen as a ‘safe’ environment for trying out new language. The teacher is there to support you and if you are unable to make yourself fully understood it really doesn’t matter – you will improve for next and will be ready for ‘real-life’ situations. If you open your mouth and practise you will not only progress more quickly, you will also gain all-important confidence in speaking the foreign language.
7. Hang out with your classmates
If you’re learning Spanish go to a Salsa bar or a Spanish restaurant with a classmate. If you’re learning German hang out at a bierkeller. Whatever the language grab a classmate and go practise in language/country related bar/restauran/club. Cactus has some great exclusive customer discounts with various establishments throughout the UK.
Cactus language offers the following types of language courses:
Evening language courses: 19 different languages in 15 UK locations
Language holidays: worldwide immersion courses in the country of the language
Private tuition: tailor-made and corporate language training solutions throughout the world
TEFL: teacher training courses for both English and other languages all over the world
Online courses: for teacher training, English and French
Cactus offers language courses to all levels. To book any of our courses please call us on 01273 830 960 or email us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Visit our language course questions page for our evening courses.