Belajar Bahasa Inggris

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tips on Studying a Foreign Language

How to Be a Good Student
Study Skills from English-Zone.Com

Tips on Studying a Foreign Language

Learning another language is not easy, but most people can learn a second
language IF they are willing to put in the necessary time. Here are some
practical suggestions for studying effectively, overcoming anxiety, and
learning the grammar and skills necessary for success in foreign language

1. STUDY EVERY DAY!A foreign language course is different from any
other course you take. Language learning is cumulative: you cannot put it
off until the weekend. Study 1 or 2 hours for every class hour if you want
an A or B.

2. DISTRIBUTE YOUR STUDY TIME in 15- to 30-minute periods throughout
the day. Focus on a different task each time: vocabulary now, grammar next,
etc. Get an overview during the first half hour: spend 10 minutes reviewing
dialog, 10 minutes learning new vocabulary, 10 minutes learning new you'll at least have looked at it all. Approximately 80% of
your study time should be spent in recitation or practice, including
practice in the language lab.

3. ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE IN EVERY CLASS--even if you are not well
prepared. Class time is your best opportunity to practice. Learn the grammar
and vocabulary outside of class in order to make the most of class time.
Spend a few minutes "warming up" before each class by speaking or reading
the language.

classmates, so you will feel you are among friends. Visit your instructor
during office hours to get acquainted: explain your goals and fears about
the course to your instructor.

5. LEARN GRAMMAR IF YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW IT. Grammar is the skeleton
of a language, its basic structure: you must learn it. Review a simplified
English grammar text. Compare new grammatical structures in your foreign
language to their English equivalents.

6. PRACTICE FOR TESTS by doing what you will have to do on the test. If
the test will require you to write, then study by writing--including
spelling and accents. If you will be asked to listen, then practice
listening. Ask for practice questions; make up your own test questions.
Invent variations on patterns and forms. Over-learn: study beyond the point
of recognition to mastery.

7. DEVELOP A GOOD ATTITUDE. Have a clear personal reason for taking the
class. Set personal goals for what you want to learn. Leave perfectionism at
the door; give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn from them.

8. GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT. Talk with your teacher. Form study groups
among class members. Use tutoring services. Don't wait!

READING and WRITING a foreign language are analytical skills. You may be
good at these if you are a logical person who attends to detail. Train
yourself through practice to notice and remember details such as accents and
gender agreement.


1. First, read the vocabulary list for the assignment. Next, read the
questions about the reading. Then read all the way through a new passage two
or three times, guessing at meaning from context. Avoid word-by-word
translation. It is a waste of time!
2. Isolate new vocabulary and study it separately. DON'T write between
the lines! Make flash cards. Carry them with you and recite them several
times during the day at odd moments. Overlearn them until they are
3. Isolate new grammatical forms and study them separately. Write the
pattern on a flash card and memorize it. Write out and label a model
sentence. When you encounter the form while reading, pause and recite the
pattern to recognize the form.


1. Pay attention to detail: notice accents, order of letters, etc.
Compare letter-by-letter different forms (singular, plural, gender, etc.).
Write out conjugations of verbs, declensions of pro-nouns, etc., and check
your endings. Memorize irregular verbs.
2. To master spelling, have a friend dictate 10 words to you. Write
them out and immediately have your friend spell them correctly aloud while
you look carefully and point at each letter. Repeat until you get all the
words right.
3. Write (in your own simple foreign vocabulary words) a story you have
just read.

LISTENING and SPEAKING are performance skills. You may do well at these if
you are naturally outgoing. Students in foreign language classes often have
difficulty hearing and speaking because they are anxious about making
mistakes. It's OK to make mistakes! Have fun trying to speak!


1. Frequent the language lab. Read the exercises in your book first;
then listen and read together; then listen without looking at the print. Say
aloud/write what you hear.
2. Participate silently in class when others are called on to speak.
Focus on the task; don't worry about how you'll do.
3. If you feel nervous, relax yourself physically by taking a couple of
slow, deep breaths. When called on, pause, relax, and give yourself time to
4. Listen while a friend dictates to you and write what you hear. Check
for accuracy.
5. Practice: join language clubs, watch foreign TV, listen to foreign


1. Study out loud! Mimic the sounds of the language. Don't mumble.
Although most people feel embarrassed making strange sounds, the language
will soon feel more familiar to you.
2. When called on in class, say something, even it it's wrong: you'll
learn from it. If you need a moment to think, repeat the question. If you
don't know the answer, say in your foreign language, "I don't know" or
3. Practice with a foreign student who wants your help to learn English
or with another class member.