Maintaining Language Study Over the Summer

If you’re taking language classes at UT, you know that studying a language is a daily practice. Most introductory language courses hold class every weekday, and many encourage you to attend language tables or find language partners. But what how do you keep your momentum over the summer admist everything else you have planned? Whether you’re working toward fluency or preparing for your fall semester’s language class, you can adopt a few learning tools so you won’t lose touch with your language of study.

Watch TV and movies in your target language. If you’re planning to watch some TV shows over the first week of summer to decompress from the pandemonium of finals, try looking up some shows or movies in your target language. You can learn about pop culture and exercise your listening skills in tandem! If you have a favorite TV show in a language you’re more familiar with, try using captions of your target language to improve your reading proficiency. You can build experience reading and listening to the language while you relax and watch TV!

Speaking of listening, I love playing music in my target language to learn new words and phrases. While you’re doing work around the house, relaxing on the couch, or walking outdoors, you can listen to music or a podcast in the language of your choice. Some websites like FluentU and Fluent in 3 Months list suggested podcasts and artists, but I like asking my language partners what they recommend.

Glance over your textbook a few times over the summer. Even if you don’t want to think about school over the coming months, reviewing old lessons can help tremendously. Make it a game and see how much you can remember, flipping through old dialogues and readings! You might find that without the stress of your other coursework, reading through your textbook becomes more enjoyable. Plus, it will remind you how much you accomplished in just a few months!

Whatever you have planned for the summer, you can find a way to maintain your language study. Consider how your personal habits may lend themselves to the practice of language. If you keep a journal or agenda, try writing part of your notes in the language. Don’t overwhelm yourself, especially if you’re new to the language, but adding just a bit of language practice to your daily routine will prevent you from losing last semester’s progress. Happy studying!

 

 

Anna Dolliver is a junior studying Chinese and English at the University of Texas at Austin. An aspiring novelist and teacher, you will often find her wandering the shelves of a library, reading outside, or writing in rooms filled with windows. She is currently studying abroad in Taiwan; you can read about her experience at her blog, www.talesoftaiwan.com.

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