Read the text and then tick the correct statement.
There is only one correct solution per statement.
When trying to learn a foreign language, most of us have the same complaint: “I’m just not good at
memorising.” Learning new vocabulary can be daunting. But here’s the good news: You can forget the
long vocabulary study sheets, or reading the dictionary from A to Z.
Instead, stick to these tips:
Many language learners are used to trying to memorise unrelated words: envelope, tired, January,
receive, onion. But who can recall those words over a long period of time? Instead, focus on a single
topic each week. The mind naturally clusters connected words together, so learning, say, types of
weather in one lesson, and parts of the body the next, works in tune with your brain’s natural system
for classifying information.
It might seem logical to study opposites together: hot/cold, always/never. It isn‘t. A learning hiccup
called ‘cross association‘ can occur when you learn two words so closely together: you end up mixing
them up. If a German student learns ‘cheap‘ (billig) and ‘expensive‘ (teuer) together, they might later
use one word when they mean to use the other. Instead, study the more common word first (e.g.:
deep) and, once it’s retained, learn its opposite (shallow).
When encountering a new word, take a look at its structure. Many words consist of prefixes and suffixes, and an understanding of these parts of speech is advantageous. The English word unbreakable, for example, contains the negating prefix un- and the adjective-forming suffix -able. Studying word
structures can help you make educated guesses when encountering new words.
Reading, listening and watching something in the foreign language helps you revisit vocabulary, and
see and hear those words in new sentences and contexts. One excellent source of foreign language
exposure is through graded readers, which are designed specifically for language learners. Other good
sources are YouTube channels, advertisements, or simply your favourite songs, which tend to use
Linguist Michael Lewis encourages language learning in chunks of words, rather than just learning
single words. Daily communication involves common phrases: “turn left,” “just a minute,” “nice to meet
you.” When studying a new language, memorise these phrases and you‘ll have a ready set of phrases,
without the stress of having to build your sentences word by word.
We hope that language teachers also keep these tips in mind and don’t try to motivate their students
to learn vocabulary by regularly testing them on individual words. Otherwise, it might be difficult to get
around the ‘good old’ vocabulary sheets.
Adapted from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/
Learning-a-foreign-language-five-most-common-mistakes.html (retrieved on April 18, 2016)
When coming across new words
|looking at their structure can help you find out their meaning.
|it is easier to guess their meaning when they are part of a speech.
|prefixes might help determine if a word is an adjective.